Do Deer Eat Blackberries? How to Prevent?

Wild blackberries close up.

It’s the same scene every time. In a yard, a fatigued, extremely tanned, slightly strong figure holds — ever so tenderly — what remained of the blackberry fruit. The elusive Odocoileus virginianus, or more particularly, the deer, is to blame.

Fighting an enraged herd of hungry deer is one of life’s most exasperating experiences. Their stealth and tenacity are unrivaled. They may annihilate a hard-won crop in a matter of minutes, in the middle of the night, while you sleep soundly.

Therefore to protect your blackberries from deer, you must make use of some wise tricks. You must let them know that you won’t go easy on them and do everything in your power to precious blackberries from them.

How to Prevent Deer from Eating Blueberries?

· Have a Canine Protect Your Berries

Get yourself a good yard dog to protect your blackberries. However, we should point out that this will only work if the dog is let out at night and has some guarding instincts. A deer will walk right past a dog if it knows that the canine won’t do anything to stop it. Therefore, a dog that isn’t properly trained to guard won’t be of any use as it would just snooze through a visit.

· Use Repellents

Consider the urine of a predator. Consider soap bars. Consider mothballs. Get inventive, but make sure your garden emits at least one unpleasant odor. Isn’t that a lovely thought? If you want to take the potty route, you may buy coyote’s and other predator’s urine from farm and garden stores.

Sprinkling soap shavings around the plants and hanging bars of soap or bags of mothballs from neighboring trees can help to keep deer out of gardens. The more unpleasant the odor, the better!

· Make Use of Deer-Resistant Garden Plants

Certain garden plants can protect your blackberries against deer.

Plants having spines on their leaves are avoided by most deer. Bear’s breeches (Acanthus), globe thistle (Echinops), Cardoon, and sea hollies (Eryngium) are just a few examples of plants that fall into this category.

Deer feed with their noses first, just like humans. They are less likely to take a bite of anything that smells bad. Plants with strong odors confound Bambi’s olfactory sense and deter feeding, making them ideal for deer-proof gardens. Sage, thyme, lavender, and oregano are among the flowering herbs that belong to this category.

Catmint (Nepeta), Artemisia, Russian sage (Perovskia), hyssop (Agastache), Salvias, tansy (Tanacetum), boxwood (Buxus), mountain mint (Pycnanthemum), dead nettle (Lamium), blue mist shrub (Caryopteris), dill, lantana, and calamint are some more deer-resistant plants (Calamintha).

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· Try Fencing

To keep deer away, various types of fencing are employed. Wire fencing, white cord, and electric fencing are good options. A good garden fence is, by far, one of the most effective ways to safeguard your plants. A decent, entirely deer-proof fence will cost you money, but if you can afford it, it will be the most low-maintenance solution available.

In essence, you want your fence to be two things: high and tight. A deer’s capacity to leap over a 6-foot fence should not be underestimated. A really deer-proof fence will be 8 to 10 feet tall and tight all the way around. Another alternative is to surround your garden with two fencing borders.

A 4-foot-high fence around the perimeter and a 4-foot-high fence four feet away from the first barrier. Deer can jump long distances, although they loathe (and will normally avoid) jumping into small spaces.

· Use Noise

Motion-activated radios have been known to be installed in the gardens to deter deer from eating blackberries. It works fine, but there is a catch: You must change the channel on a frequent basis. The sounds frighten deer and other fuzzy critters at first, but they quickly grow accustomed to the cacophony.

Some users have found success by switching the station every evening and alternating between all types of music and discussion radio.

· Put Shiny Objects in the Garden

You’ve probably heard of people putting CDs and sparkly ribbons in fruit trees to keep birds away from the crop. This is along the same lines. During the day, the flashing of CDs and tinsel-type ribbons is unnerving for birds.

You may achieve the same effect by using motion sensor lights at night. The issue you’re running into here is that deer are quite good at becoming acclimated to routines. Your hard effort will be for naught if you don’t change things up every now and then.

· Use Motion-Activated Sprinklers

When it comes to preventing deer from specific garden areas, motion-activated sprinklers are a game-changer, but not all of them are created equal. When these sprinklers detect motion, they shoot a sharp burst of water in the direction of motion, terrifying the deer and sending them fleeing.

Sprinklers with a range that can be easily adjusted to target a fairly precise region are great for safeguarding blackberries

Here are some pointers on how to correctly use motion-activated sprinklers.

  • These sprinklers are useful for the majority of the planting season, but they are utterly worthless in the winter when hoses freeze. For the winter, the sprinklers must be emptied and stored carefully.
  • For best protection, move the sprinkler to a new location along the garden’s border every few days.
  • Use battery-powered sprinklers instead of solar-powered types as they emit a stronger burst of water.
  • Look for brands that have an infrared sensor, like Contech’s Scarecrow and HavaHart Spray-Away, to ensure that they work at night. Without this sensor, models are only useful during the day.
  • Taller sprinklers function better than shorter ones because the sensor isn’t fooled by changing foliage and the water jet shoots out above the plant tops.

Final Thoughts

Deer won’t leave your blackberries alone unless you do something to keep them away. The methods listed above should work to protect your garden from these wild animals. However, if one strategy doesn’t work, try another method until you find the most effective way to protect your blackberries from deer.

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