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After finding several tomato plants with their tops lopped off a week ago, I investigated nearby and found a patch where some daffodils had been flattened as though a deer had been sleeping there. I put some stakes in the area to discourage this and haven't noticed any depredations since (knock on wood).
But I'm reminded of the joke where one gardener was telling another of the many things he had tried to get rid of deer. Hanging soap, hair balls, spray, lion urine, etc., to no avail. "But," he said, "I've finally found a sure-fire method. Come over for dinner and I'll tell you about it." "Sure," said his friend, "what are you serving?" "Venison."
Most of the folks were I live have just given up on trying to keep the deer from eating their tomatoes and I live in a county in upstate NY that has perhaps the highest deer population in the state. It's dairy country and the deer have great feeding on all the corn that's grown for the local cows.
You can spend lots of money and surround your plants with electric fences that are high or do a double very high fence which the local orchardists do to try and protect them from eating apples, and on and on.
I have a herd of about 12 that hang out on my 30 acres and since I moved here they have NOT eaten any of my tomato plants. They will eat the roses and sometimes some daylilies, but that's about all. Less than a mile away, though, where I had another tomato patch they were terrible, so terrible that for several years I started posting online about this wonderful new variety that I had but couldn't get enough seeds to share.
One person called it Perry's Teasum b'c it was Chuck Perry who gave me the seeds. Then came the year I could share seeds and did a thread at GW where I described all the background I knew and asked folks to help name it with me. I'd named lots of unnamed varieties but wanted others to know what went into naming.
There were 22 folks who posted in that thread and it ended up being called Neves Azorean Red, which many folks know now and love, me too, and I sent thank you seeds to all of those 22 thread participants.
I grew up with a dad who shot anything that flew or had 4 feet and it wasn't uncommon to see 10-12 deer that his fellow gun club members had shot hanging from the rafters of the barn.
So I treasure watching the does bring down their fawns for me to see and love watching the fawns prance around and chase each other in the backyard, which I'm looking at as I sit here at the computer.
I decided there's a much larger world out there that's bigger and more important than any tomato plants here that are being eaten, and this year quite a few of them have been teeth pruned by my local woodchucks, groundhogs to some of you.
But goundhog doesn't fit when one remembers the ditty:
(How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood,
He'd chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could if a woodchuck could chuck wood)
A simple single strand electric fence (30 inches high) keeps deer out of my orchard. They don't like my tomatoes, I do sometimes see tracks in the garden where they pass through. My electric fence is solar powered and doesn't do any harm to the animals although my wife accidentally checked it out a couple of days ago and found it to be an quite effective!
I too love to see the deer, but I love my tomato plants also. I am going to fence them in (the tomatoes that is).
Carolyn, I have seen many of your posts. I love my tomatoes, but, I can see that you are the expert. Do you still have seeds of the Neves Azorean Red tomato? I would love to try some next year.
I have never had a problem with the deer eating my tomatoes, but this year with the drought they have been regular visitors and eating on our plants and eating the green tomatoes once they get so big. I am ready to give up for this year...
The restaurant is now closed. They stole about 8 green tomatoes. They took a ripe one and ate half and left the rest on the ground. I've covered the remaining tomatoes with bird netting, which is a big turnoff for them. The better our crop, the worse the attacks.