How to Keep Deer Away from Tomato Plants

Have you found deer eating your tomato plants and felt helpless? It's frustrating, but there are ways to keep them away. You can protect your tomatoes by understanding deer behavior and using different methods.

These animals see your tomato plants as a tasty treat. By learning their ways and acting smart, you can keep deer out of your garden. Let's discover how to make a garden deer don't like and enjoy your harvest again.

Understanding the Deer Problem in Vegetable Gardens

Deer are causing trouble for those growing vegetables in suburban areas more and more. They've lost their natural spaces to urban growth and have turned to gardens for food. Even though deer don't usually like tomatoes, they'll eat them if there's not much else around.

Deer are not picky eaters, and what they like can change. At first, they might avoid strong-smelling plants like tomatoes. But if they get hungry, that can change. This makes it hard for gardeners to keep their crops safe.

More and more deer are moving into the suburbs looking for food and shelter. This trend poses a challenge to gardeners who want to keep their plants safe. They have to work hard to keep deer from eating their tomatoes and other plants.

Gardeners need to understand why deer are coming to their gardens. This knowledge helps them come up with ways to protect their crops. It's all about living in harmony with nature, even as we protect our gardens from these clever deer.

Fencing Solutions for Deer-Proofing Your Tomato Garden

A strong fence is key to protecting your tomato plants from deer. Many traditional fences just aren't high enough. But, there are plenty of fencing options that will keep your garden safe.

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Deer can easily jump over a 4-foot fence, so an 8-foot-tall fence is best. You can make this by stacking two 4-foot pieces of wire fencing. Doing this yourself saves money compared to buying a pre-made deer fence.

Another option is an electric fence. It doesn't have to be as tall but gives deer a shocking surprise. The shock teaches deer to stay away. Remember, regular upkeep is important to keep the electric fence working well.

  • DIY deer-proof fencing: Stack two 4-foot widths of wire fencing to create an 8-foot-tall barrier
  • Electric fences: Provide a shock that deters deer, though they don't need to be as tall as traditional fences
  • Invisible deer netting: Install at least 8 feet tall to prevent deer from entering the garden

Adding invisible deer netting can also help protect your garden. This netting should also be at least 8 feet tall. Though invisible, it acts as a physical barrier against deer.

Choosing the right fence and installing it correctly is critical. Good fencing keeps deer away and ensures a plentiful tomato harvest. So, make sure your garden is well-fenced to enjoy your tomatoes without any deer trouble.

The 16-Foot Square Garden: A Clever Deer-Deterrent Strategy

Gardeners fight to keep deer away from their tomatoes with a 16-foot square garden. Experts found that deer stay away from tight spaces. They see these areas as too small and risky.

Setting up a 4-foot-tall fence around a small tomato patch works. It keeps deer out effectively. Studies prove that deer avoid 16-foot square gardens, leaving the tomatoes to grow.

The secret is the small area. Deer don't like small, enclosed spaces. They prefer open areas where they can move freely. This fear of tight spots can help keep deer from small vegetable gardens.

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Using a 16-foot square garden method works well. It's a smart way to protect your plants from deer. This strategy gives gardeners a simple, natural way to guard their gardens.

How to Keep Deer Away from Tomato Plants

Keeping deer away from your tomatoes can be tough, but you have many choices to try. One is using fragrant soap as a deer repellent.

If you’re protecting only one tomato plant, a bar of scented bath soap works well. Pick a small, strong-smelling soap and wrap it. Then, poke a hole and hang it near the plant.

For more plants, spread several soaps outside the area. Since deer can get used to a smell, change the soaps every few weeks.

Besides soap, there are more ways to guard your tomatoes from deer. Here are a few good ones:

  • Plant deer-resistant plants like marigolds near your tomatoes.
  • Use sprays that smell like mint or garlic to keep deer off.
  • Set up devices that scare deer with noise or water when they come close.

Combining a few methods usually works best against deer. With both store-bought and household options, you can better shield your garden. This way, you can enjoy more of your tomatoes, worry-free.

Companion Planting: Deer-Resistant Crops to Grow with Tomatoes

Protecting your tomato plants from deer is key. Companion planting helps here. Some veggies and plants naturally keep deer away with their strong smells or bad taste to deer. By planting these around tomatoes, you build a shield for your crop.

Good buddies for tomatoes that deer don't like include chives, cucumbers, and rosemary. They smell strong and taste bad to deer. Marigolds, with their strong smell, add another layer of defense.

Growing basil, peppermint, and hyssop with tomatoes can boost their health. These plants help tomatoes grow better and produce more good chemicals. Also, onions near tomatoes fight off diseases like Verticillium wilt.

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Adding many deer-resistant plants to your tomato garden makes it stronger. It protects your tomatoes from deer and pests. Plus, it makes your whole garden healthier.

Start by planning and placing plants well. Then, you can have lots of tomatoes without worrying about deer.

Deer-Resistant Companion Plants for Tomatoes
Moderately Deer-Resistant Plants
Deer Favorites
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Globe Artichokes
  • Ground Cherries
  • Horseradish
  • Leeks
  • Peppers
  • Rhubarb
  • Onions
  • Tomatillos
  • Turnips
  • Arugula
  • Beets (especially beet tops)
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Corn
  • Edible Figs
  • Kale
  • Melons
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes (leaves and flowers)
  • Rutabagas
  • Basil
  • Summer Squash
  • Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)
  • Tomatoes
  • Winter Squash
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Berries (most kinds)
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Lettuce & Leafy Greens
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Plums
  • Strawberries

Some veggies keep deer away because they're prickly, smelly, in the ground, or bad for deer. Not all flowers do, but marigolds do stop deer because they smell. Mostly, deer don't bother lemon and lime trees but may if hungry enough.


Keeping deer away from your tomato plants is tough. Yet, with a smart plan, you can protect your tomatoes. Fences or electric fencing work well. Also, things like fragrant soap or raw eggs can help.

Planting crops deer don't like can keep them out. It's important to use several methods together. This makes it harder for the deer to get to your plants.

Combining different ways to keep deer away is key. This way, you can have a lot of tomatoes each year. By staying alert and using smart tricks, your garden can thrive.

Keeping deer off your tomato plants is a big challenge. But, with the right mix of strategies, you can succeed. Gardeners can enjoy their tomatoes without worrying about deer.

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