Do deer eat sweet potatoes? Of course! These wild animals adore sweet potatoes and at times even consume other potato varieties. Knowing what deer eat will help you a lot when planning an outdoor garden that yields produce.
Those of us that live in deer-infested regions must contend with strategic planning of what to cultivate. You have to be mindful of what to plant about a deer’s appetite. One route is to have a garden that is easy to care for by choosing plants that deer have an aversion to.
Therefore, when you find yourself sitting down and contemplating a garden, ask yourself the question: Do deer eat sweet potatoes? You will not hesitate to query yourself this question if you have come across horror stories of deer-destroying plots or backyard gardens. (Learn How To Kill A Eucalyptus Tree)
Make it a priority to know if deer in your area will be drawn to your sweet potatoes and what options are available to thwart them.
Do Deer Eat Sweet Potatoes?
A very starchy and sweet root vegetable, sweet potato is tasty. To a deer, it is almost irresistible. Therefore, the answer is a resounding yes. Deer love sweet potatoes.
In fact, this root crop is popular as deer bait for hunters here in the US, particularly in North Carolina. While baiting is not legal, many hunters still do it unabated. They attract deer using sweet potatoes and hunt them down.
So it goes without saying that if your property has growing sweet potatoes, deer in the area will naturally gravitate to it. The animal loves eating the sweet potatoes’ vine as well. Cultivating sweet potatoes in a known deer area means you have to take measures to protect your plants from being eaten.
If you grow sweet potatoes, fencing and the use of repellent around your garden might be necessary. Deer can also be quite destructive.
Other Plants Deer Will Eat
Yams and Deer
Just as is the case with sweet potatoes, deer also eat yams, especially the Mexican yam variety. The Mexican yam is not as tasty as sweet potatoes, and they have a lower caloric content. It is also less starchy but is nonetheless a great iron, calcium, and potassium source.
Some gardeners even say deer nibble through the leaves of yam plants. It is thus safe to say that you must avoid planting yams if you are in deer country. Otherwise, you may resort to using protective measures to keep your yams safe from deer with effective fencing or repellants.
Tomatoes and Deer Appetite
It likewise is an annoying sight if you have spent many hours tending to a tomato garden, only to see deer feasting on it. Hungry deer have voracious appetites. They will devour almost any foliage they can access.
Tomatoes will look for sure to lure deer to your property or garden. Tomatoes are surely in their diet, and fresh green leaves found on the tomato plants are of particular interest. They will also eat ripe tomato fruit. (Read 7 Must-Have Tools for Gardeners)
Fortunately, tomatoes grow on almost all soil types, from heavy clay to light sandy texture. It is easy to cultivate and a simple crop for farmers all over America. Here, there is typically a surplus production of the fruit, but there are also many deer to be wary about.
Tomatoes that are not fully grown do not prevent deer from devouring them. They will eat the green tomatoes with no hesitancy. They are known to eat the tomatoes off the vine.
If you have decided to grow tomatoes on your farm or garden, be ready to repel deer from eating them.
Fencing Effectively Against Deer
Opting to fence an area is one of the best methods to keep deer out of your property. To be effective, make sure you construct one that is high and sturdy. Be cognizant that the fence is not just any fence but one that can withstand the intrusion of deer.
If you build a fence around 6 feet tall using electric wire on the upper edge, this will still not be enough against deer trespassing. Be mindful that these wild animals can jump 5 to 6 feet when properly motivated (like when they are hungry).
They will easily breach such with ease. To compensate for their agility, construct a fence that is 8 feet high to guarantee they stay out. You can use plastic mesh or metal wire, depending on your fence budget. At this height, you also need not electrify it.
You could also look into using opaque fence material. It does not have to be as high as 8 feet since being non-transparent may discourage a deer from venturing over. A double, parallel fence design is also good to consider.
This is because two barriers properly spaced apart will obscure the deer’s view. The animal will likely not jump over the fence since they have no view of where they will land.
Using Repellents to Further Discourage Deer Intrusion
Repellents are certainly an option for you to discourage deer intrusions. Doing so may need reapplication, depending on the repellants efficacy. Constant reapplication may also be necessary if it often rains, as the water could wash it off.
Repellents combined with a well-built wall to keep deer off your property (and plants) should do the trick. A good practice is to change the repellents you select from time to time. This will prevent deer from becoming accustomed to the taste or smell and always keep them off-balance
The Deer Diet and Your Garden
Do deer eat sweet potatoes? Oh yes, they do, along with a host of other fruits. While it is not their first choice of food, it, along with other plants, will attract them to your property. If you plan to plant sweet potatoes and other deer-friendly food, be sure to adopt sufficient measures to prevent them from trashing your yard. (Learn How To Get Rid Of Fungus On Tree Stump)
A strong, wisely constructed fence bolstered by repellents may be your best defense. Either that or avoid planting anything that deer are remotely attracted to.