In a nutshell, the answer is yes to this question. In fact, strawberries are one of the few things that deer adore.
If you don’t take safeguards, deer can cause major harm to your strawberry plants. Strawberry plants’ leaves and berries are eaten by deer, who can also trample your plants. Understanding deer behaviors and the planning efficient strategies for keeping them out of your garden are crucial to preventing strawberry plant damage.
Identification and Habits
Deer forage energetically late at night or early in the morning in most situations from early spring through midsummer. You’re more likely to observe deer or have them in your yard if you live near deer-friendly environments. Once deer have formed a habit of feeding in your garden, it is tough to keep them away. Deer will be less likely to enter your garden to graze on your strawberry plants if you grow them closer to your house. Deer tracks in your garden might be used to identify them. Deer foot prints are a pair of elongated, tear-shaped depressions that range in length from 1 to 3 inches depending on the deer’s sex and maturity.
How to Prevent Deer from Eating your Strawberries?
Deer can only be kept from eating your plants if you fence them out, which is easier said than done. Building a proper deer fence is costly, and once completed, it may feel as if you’ve caged yourself in rather than keeping the deer out. Deer can leap over an eight-foot-tall fence in a matter of seconds, so if you’re going to put one up, make it at least that tall.
Stockade fences are more effective than see-through fences.
Stockade fences don’t have to be as tall as other fences because deer prefer to jump over them if they can see what’s on the other side. Our six-foot-tall stockade fence along the side of our house works beautifully; deer will jump over our split rail fence but not the stockade.
The best fence is sometimes none at all.
If you’ve recently visited a public zoo, you may have noticed that instead of a fence, some facilities now use a wide border of enormous, irregularly shaped boulders to divide the giraffes, zebras, oxen, and gazelles from us humans. This is due to the fact that hooved animals won’t walk across rocky terrain. Deer are similar to each other. Deer will not access an area if a six- to eight-foot wide perimeter of these large rocks is created around it. The deer must be able to leap over the rock bed, thus it must be wide enough. Cattle guards are also excellent for keeping deer out of unfenced roads and roadways.
Make the switch to electric.
Electric fences are another effective approach to keep deer out of your garden, though they are not permitted in all areas. Check your local zoning restrictions before building an electric fence. You can hire a specialist to install one or do it yourself; just be sure to properly follow all installation instructions to avoid any dangerous situations. Electric deer fences can be solar or plug-in; in either case, you must maintain the fence line on a regular basis to ensure that weeds and other plants do not come into contact with the fence, rendering it ineffective. Electric deer fences may cause a lot of pain (trust me, I’ve experienced it! ), so be cautious when working around them and avoid utilising them if you have little children. They aren’t for everyone, but they may be a highly effective technique to keep deer out of your garden, especially if the fence is erected and maintained properly.
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Garden plants that are resistant to deer should be chosen.
This may seem self-evident, but I’m always shocked by the number of gardeners who complain about deer eating their hosta. For Pete’s sake, if the deer eat your hosta and you don’t like it, replace it with deer-resistant plants. There are many of options available, I assure you.
Plant selection is always your first line of defence against deer. If you have deer in your garden, DO NOT plant anything unless it has one of the following characteristics:
Rub the foliage of a plant you want to put in your garden against your cheek before buying it. It’s probably a suitable plant choice for deer safe gardens if the leaves have little hairs on them, whether bristly or soft. Deer don’t appreciate textures that are fuzzy or hairy against their tongues. Lambs ear (Stachys), lady’s mantle (Alchemilla), Siberian bugloss (Brunnera), flowering tobacco (Nicotiana), tuberous begonias, heliotrope, yarrow (Achillea), Ageratum, poppies, purple top vervain (Verbena bonariensis), and many other deer-resistant garden plants are included in this group.
Prickly foliage: Plants having spines on their leaves are also hated by most deer. Deer have learned to eat around the thorns of rose canes in order to nibble off the leaves, but they normally avoid plants with spines on the leaves themselves. Bear’s breeches (Acanthus), globe thistle (Echinops), Cardoon, and sea hollies (Eryngium) are among the plants in this category.
Foliage with a strong scent: Deer, like us, eat with their noses first. They’re less inclined to dive in for a taste if something smells bad. Plants with highly scented foliage confound Bambi’s olfactory sense and dissuade him from feeding, making them ideal for deer-proof gardens. This category includes sage, thyme, lavender, and oregano, among other flowering herbs. Catmint (Nepeta), hyssop (Agastache), Artemisia, Russian sage (Perovskia), boxwood (Buxus), Salvias, tansy (Tanacetum), mountain mint (Pycnanthemum), dead nettle (Lamium), blue mist shrub (Caryopteris), dill, lantana, and calamint are some deer-resistant plants with (Calamintha).
Toxic foliage is one of the plants on my list of must-have deer resistant plants because it contains components that are toxic to deer. Fawns learn to avoid certain plants from their moms — or from their unhappy stomachs. All ferns, as well as false indigo (Baptisia), bleeding hearts (Lamprocapnos/Dicentra), daffodils, Helleborus, monkshood (Aconitum), spurges (Euphorbia), and poppies, include substances that deer cannot tolerate (Papaver). However, be cautious because some of these plants are harmful to humans and dogs who may ingest a bite.
Plants with tough-to-digest leaves, such as leathery or fibrous foliage, are also avoided by deer. Most irises, wax and dragonwing begonias, elephant ears (Colocasia and Alocasia), peonies, and some viburnums fall under this family (including leatherleaf and arrowwood).
Grasses: Deer prefer forbs (flowering plants) and woody plant shoots over grasses, while young, succulent grasses make up a modest part of their diet. White-tailed deer cannot live only on grasses, and will only eat immature grasses as a last resort. As a result, ornamental grasses are an excellent plant choice for deer-resistant gardens.
Repellents for Deer
Deer repellants may make deer less interested in your strawberry plants. Deer repellents do not totally prevent animals’ damage, and they are rarely effective once deer have started eating your vegetation. To keep deer away from your strawberry bushes, spray a mixture of 20% whole eggs and 80% water straight on them once every 30 days.
To sum up, deer are extremely fond of strawberries, and, if you want to make sure that they do not find their way to your strawberry plants, you need to act quickly and effectively.