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Need planting suggestions for unattended crops that deer don't like

 
Posts: 310
Location: North Carolina zone 7
8
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I have a planting area several acres from my home. I want to do some planting but I don't want to waist seed feeding the deer. Are there any regular crops that deer just don't care for?
 
steward
Posts: 4730
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I have one field with a lot of deer. I only plant squash into that field. They don't eat much. Maybe 5% of fruits will have a bite taken out of them. I've been selecting for squash that tend to cover the fruits with leaves, so that they are less visible to the deer. I could further reduce deer predation if I planted in hills placed about 3 feet apart. I choose to sacrifice some fruits by planting in rows cause it works better for me for irrigation and weeding. I don't remember a bite being taken out of a bush zucchini. I figure cause leaves cover the fruits better. Besides, it's a zucchini.

I can't grow muskmelons in that field any more. I was content with the deer eating these melons, they taught me what I can grow in that field... Besides -- Where else are my deer kin going to get such fine food?







deer-damaged-muskmelons.jpg
[Thumbnail for deer-damaged-muskmelons.jpg]
Muskmelons damaged by deer.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 310
Location: North Carolina zone 7
8
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Good to know. I have lots of big green apple gourds, pumpkins, and various others I can't remember at this hour. I will certainly give them a go on your recommendation. Thank you.
 
master steward
Posts: 2694
Location: USDA Zone 8a
710
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You might try planting some flowers that deer don't like on the outer edges.   Most smelly or prickly things like sage, lavender, oregano, yarrow are deer resistant.   They have never bothered our tomatoes, bell peppers.  Last year it was only watermelon that they tried to sample.  This year I made the mistake of planting broccoli so they found the garden.  When they sampled the new plum tree, DH put up an electric fence around the whole veggie garden.

They hadn't bothered the flower garden until I planted iris.  They didn't like them just damaged them pulling them up and spitting them out.

Deer resistant means they don't usually like them but when something is the only green they can find they might try it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1013
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I think sweet potatoe leaves are their favorite thing. Then they will eat the all cantaloupe leaves if the fruit isn't ready. They don't  seem to care for watermelon vines, but I'm sure they like the fruit.  They seem to wipe out whatever favorite is available then move to the next favorite.

Does anyone know if the like pecan seeddlings?
 
master steward
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I've heard they don't like horseradish and rhubarb.  I'll find out this year....
 
Anne Miller
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Ken W Wilson wrote: Does anyone know if the like pecan seeddlings?



I live where there are lots of deer and also lots of pecan groves so maybe they don't like them ... or the growers have good fences.  The problem is the damage the deer do while deciding whether they like them. Due to the mechanics of how they eat they pull up the whole plant or while munching they break off twigs or limbs.
 
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I've never met a plant that a deer wouldn't eat. In drought years they have come right up to the kitchen garden and eaten the potato plants. Before I knew better, I planted a small orchard and they had it eaten down to the ground within a week. They have pulled the peanut plants right up from the ground and eaten leaves, stems, roots and peanuts. They are not my friends.
My niece, who now runs her own organic farm, did an internship at a farm in NC about 10 years ago and I had a chance to visit her. The owners had plant tall thickets as hedges and were successful in keeping the deer out of the gardens. The idea is that a deer will not jump over something if they can't see what's on the other side. I'm currently trying to grow my own hedges with thorny plants such as rosa rugosa, holly and black berries.
 
Posts: 38
Location: ne kansas
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deer will most definately eat horseradish. had a bunch about a foot across eaten to the ground one fall.
 
Mike Haasl
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Shoot...  Thanks Robert!
 
gardener
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Mike Jay wrote:Shoot...  Thanks Robert!



Shoot is good advise.

The problem is the solution . . . if the question is, "What kind of sausage should I make this year?"
 
Posts: 249
Location: New Hampshire
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Ken W Wilson wrote:I think sweet potatoe leaves are their favorite thing. Then they will eat the all cantaloupe leaves if the fruit isn't ready. They don't  seem to care for watermelon vines, but I'm sure they like the fruit.  They seem to wipe out whatever favorite is available then move to the next favorite.

Does anyone know if the like pecan seeddlings?



Thanks for the warning on the sweet potatoes.  
 
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