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Do deer eat blueberries? Seeing deer in your yard can be awesome, but they can make growing a garden difficult. They love to munch on flowers, vegetables, and fruit, so if you want to grow your own food or have a beautiful yard, it’s important to keep these lovely creatures away from your plants.
Here are a few ideas for deterring them from entering your yard, searching for food.
In This Guide:
Do Deer Eat Blueberries?
Do deer eat blueberries? You bet they do! Deer love eating blueberries, but they don’t usually go out of their way to find them. Instead, they eat them by accident when they happen upon a patch of berries on their travels through the woods.
They can also smell blueberry plants from far away, so ensure they’re in an area hidden from the deer’s sight. If they can see the plants or smell them, they’ll be able to find them before you have a chance to harvest them.
Deer also love snowberries, blackberries, and wild strawberries. This is because they are an excellent source of nutrition. The berries contain specific nutrients that deer require, like vitamin C, which help keep their immune systems strong.
They also have many antioxidants that help prevent disease and aging. Berries are a primary food source for deer.
Most often, wild (lowbush) blueberries are more readily available. Still, deer prefer cultivated blueberry plants over wild ones since cultivated plants tend to be much larger than those growing in nature although they are not as sweet.
Are Blueberries Safe for Deer to Eat?
Yes, blueberries are safe for deer to eat. They’re quite nutritious and offer many health benefits. In fact, studies have shown that eating blueberries can help fight off disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve memory, and even increase lifespan!
But how much is too much? If you’ve got a few tasty bushes growing on your property and you want to keep deer away from them so they don’t eat all of them up before your plants produce fruit – there’s no need to worry (too much).
Deer typically only eat one or two dozen berries at most during each visit (the record is just under 100). This means a single deer can go through an entire bush in just a few days without doing any serious damage.
Do Deer Eat Blueberry Fruit or the Whole Bush?
Do deer eat blueberry bushes too? They will chew on the leaves of a blueberry bush, which can kill the shrub if they do too much damage. If there are enough berries left for them, deer will eat them until none are left. If there aren’t enough berries, deer will eat all of your bushes for more food!
If you have plenty of other food around your yard, like grass or weeds, they may not venture in because these are more accessible. They’re easier to find and get to than other things.
Will Netting Help Keep Deer Out?
If you’re wondering whether netting will help keep deer away from your blueberry bushes, the answer is yes! However, there are a few things you need to know before trying it out.
- Bird netting can be installed around or over the top of your blueberry bushes. It’s made to keep birds from picking out the blueberries. Combined with a cage, this makes a very effective solution for garden raiders.
- Ensure that the netting is secured at least six feet high and buried around the plant so that deer cannot access the area where they might walk on or eat them.
- If possible, avoid using plastic or other materials that can cause heat buildup under the netting. This will make it harder for plants like blueberries to thrive in hot climates where temperatures often rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit during summer (otherwise ideal conditions).
Ways to Keep Deer From Eating Blueberry Plants
Here are a few suggestions for keeping deer away from your blueberry bushes or out of your yard completely. Some will also work to keep rabbits and squirrels away as well.
Use Deer Repellent
Deer repellent is one of the most effective ways to deter deer from eating your blueberry plants. Several types available at garden centers contain putrescent egg solids or garlic oil as active ingredients.
These products are very effective at keeping deer away from plants, but they only last for approximately 30 days before they need to be reapplied. They don’t negatively affect humans, pets, or wildlife other than keeping deer away from certain areas of the garden for a limited time.
You can purchase deer repellent at most home and garden stores or online. These products work for deer, elk, and moose and are non-toxic.
9 Tips to Make Your Yard Less Appealing to Deer
- Clear out fallen fruit from around trees during harvest season since this may attract them.
- Prune dead branches away from trees during winter months because they could provide easy climbing spots for predators.
- If you have new plants, consider planting them at least 10 feet away from any other plants or trees that deer may be attracted to.
- Use berry cages. These metal structures surround your plants and keep the deer from reaching them. The cages are usually constructed out of metal or plastic, so the deer’s sharp teeth won’t damage them.
- Plant thorny bushes around the perimeter of your blueberry patch. Deer prefer to eat soft leaves instead of thorns, so planting tall bushes like hawthorn hedges around your blueberry plants will help keep deer away from them.
- Plant garlic bulbs around your blueberry bushes — this will help keep deer away from them by masking their scent with garlic’s pungent odor.
- Use fencing to keep deer away from your plants. Ensure it’s at least 8 feet high so that deer won’t jump over or crawl under it.
- Try a motion-sensor sprinkler to keep deer away from your blueberry bushes. The sound of running water is a deterrent, so use this tactic to keep deer away from the area where your garden is located.
- Install lights in your yard at night. Deer tend to be more active at night than during the day, so installing outdoor lights can help deter them from coming near.
Plants That Deer Don’t Like
Some plants that deer don’t like or could be considered deer-resistant are:
- Wild onions
- Wild ginger
- Lemon balm
- Bachelor’s Buttons
With so many different ways to keep deer from eating your blueberry plants, remember the simplest way is often the best. Choose some options that work for you and your garden, and you’ll be well on your way to growing some tasty blueberries!