Deer Resistant Vegetables

Deer will eat anything if they are starving, but planting a garden full of vegetables they don't like to eat puts you on the right track for avoiding damage.  Even lining the outside of your garden with these can help keep the deer from entering the garden to eat other plants.  

Deer resistant vegetables? A deer proof garden?  Is it possible to have such a thing? If you want to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruits anywhere except the most urban location, you will have to learn how to control deer. Deer management is multi-faceted and depending on the size of your garden, the type of food grown, type and number of deer in the area, and other variables, you will have to use at least one or two of these methods of control.

It is hard to find Deer Resistant Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs since they are a prize food source and full of the nutrients that deer need to be healthy.  After the deer have gotten into your garden and tasted the feast you have prepared, it will be very hard to exclude them.  Start with these deer resistant vegetables, and herbs and then you will have to decide on a strategy of fencing, repellent, or a scare device such as the water shooting Scarcrow.  For fruit, you may have to consider an odor type repellent or temporary netting.

There are several vegetables that deer tend to avoid eating, these include:

  • Alliums, such as onions, leeks, and garlic
  • Arugula
  • Asian greens, such as bok choy and tatsoi
  • Beans, both pole and bush varieties
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Hot peppers
  • Melons
  • Okra
  • Parsley
  • Parsnips
  • Peas, both snap and snow varieties
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Sorrel
  • Spinach
  • Squash, both summer and winter varieties
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips

It is worth noting that deer may still eat these vegetables if they are hungry enough or if other food sources are scarce. To prevent damage, it's best to implement a deer-proof barrier, such as a fence, around your garden.

Cucumbers have been shown to actually repel deer.  Many people have sent messages saying they plant cucumbers where deer are most likely to come in.  They plant them in pots and on trellises to keep them out of areas in lawns. 



BOTANICAL NAME

COMMON NAME

TYPE

COMMENTS

Allium schoenoprasum

Chives

Kitchen herb

Strong odor

Allium

Onions

Vegetable

Strong odor

Allium

Leeks

Vegetable

Strong odor

Allium

Garlic

Vegetable

Strong odor

Allium tuberosum

Garlic Chives

Vegetable

Strong odor

Anethum graveolens
Dill Herb

Arabis spp.

Rock Cress

Vegetable


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Bearberry

Fruit


Artemesia absinthum
Artemesia Herb

Artemesia dracunculus

Tarragon

Herb

Aromatic perennial

Asimina triloba

Paw Paw

Fruit

Fruit jelly

Asparagus officinalis

Asparagus

Vegetable


Borago officinalis
Borage Herb Cucumber odor

Carum carvi
Caraway Herb Seeds used

Coriandrum sativum
Chinese Parsley/Coriander Herb Leaves and seeds used

Cucurbita spp.

Squash

Vegetable


Cynara scolymus

Globe artichoke

Vegetable

Sharp foliage

Diospyros virginiana

Persimmon

Fruit

Edible fruit

Ficus carica

Edible Fig

Fruit

Zones 6 -9

Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel

Herb

Anise flavor

Helianthus tuberosus

Jerusalem Artichoke

Vegetable

Potato-like tubers

Hyssopus officinalis
Hyssopus Herb

Juglans nigra

Walnut

Nut
Protect when young

Lavendula angustifolia
Lavender Herb Strong odor

Matricaria spp.
Chamomile Herb

Melissa officinalis
Lemon balm Herb

Mentha spp.
Mint Herb
Myrrhis odorata Sweet Cicely Herb Anise smelling foliage

Verbascum spp.
Mullein Herb

Nepeta x faassenii
Catmint Herb

Ocimum basilicum

Sweet Basil

Herb

Flavoring

Opuntia spp.

Prickly Pear

Vegetable

Thorns

Origanum pulchellum

Marjoram

Herb

Flavoring

Origanum vulgare

Oregano

Herb

Flavoring

Petroselinum crispum

Parsley

Herb

Garnish

Phoenix dactylifera

Date Palm

Fruit


Punica granatum

Pomegranate

Fruit

Sour taste

Rheum x cultorum

Rhubarb

Vegetable

Toxic leaves

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary

Herb


Ruta graveolens
Rue Herb

Salvia officinalis

Sage

Herb


Sambucus canadensis

Blueberry elder

Fruit

Used for jelly

Sambucus racemosa

Red elderberry

Fruit

Used for jelly

Satureja montana
Savory Herb

Solanum tuberosum

Potato

Vegetable

Poisonous top

Symphytum x rubrum
Comfrey Herb

Tanacetum balsamita

Coriander

Herb


Tanacetum coccineum
Tansy Herb

Tanacetum parthenium
Feverfew Herb

Teucrium chamaedrys
Germander Herb

Thymus spp.

Thyme

Herb


Tropaeolum spp.
Nasturtium Flower Edible annual

Tulbaghia violacea
Society Garlic Herb
Vaccinium spp. Blueberries Fruit Watch for birds

Vicia faba

Broad/Fafa beans

Vegetable


Join Our Lawn Care Business Managers
Mailing List

Sign Up to receive product updates and special offers from our team. We have a lot of great free tools to share with you.