Do Deer Eat Watermelon?

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do deer eat watermelon

When homeowners feed deer from their backyards, fruit is often incorporated into the mix. Watermelon is a particularly large fruit, usually leaving behind a substantial amount of leftovers. One watermelon could potentially feed a high number of deer, so it’s no wonder why homeowners consider using these fruits as part of their feed regimen for these animals.

However, it’s important to be aware of which fruits are safe to feed deer. In this article, we examine whether watermelon is a suitable snack for our antlered friends.

Deer and Watermelon

Do deer eat watermelon? The simple answer to this question is yes, they can. They are not alone, as other animals eat watermelon as well. They seem to be just a tasty snack that many wild animals eat. The sweet taste of watermelon is great for luring deer into a backyard to capture a quick glimpse of these beautiful creatures. They are also a healthy food.

Besides the sweet taste that deer love, watermelon is also rich in carbohydrates. These fruits are also rich in vitamins C, A, and B6. Additional vitamins and minerals exist in a watermelon rind as well that deer need, such as amino acids and antioxidants.

Additionally, if you have a watermelon patch in your backyard, deer will feast on the vines and leaves of these fruits after the fruit has been harvested. They love watermelon plants and will enter your garden quickly. Alternatively, this is also why sufficient measures must be taken when growing these fruits, so deer don’t pick them off before they are ripe! 

A hungry deer will consume an entire melon in a few seconds. It won’t take them long to kill all of your watermelon crops, and even cantaloupe plants.

Exterior and Interior Watermelon Rinds

The rinds of watermelon are rich in lycopene, which is considered the portion of the watermelon that gives it the sweet flavor. This flavor is what makes watermelon one of the favorite foods of a deer. Sweet melon packs plenty of nutrients for them as well. These are some of the other foods that deer love to feast on.

·         Deer eat acorns

·         Deer eat bananas, they’ll eat banana plants, and also eat apples

·         Deer eat nuts but will eat vegetables as well. It’s not uncommon to see deer eating veggies right out of a garden.

·         Blueberries are a safe and healthy food for the deer population.

·         Bread

Besides the bread, the other options on this list can be found in the wild or in their natural setting in your garden. As we mentioned before, if you grow these items on your property, it’s important to keep deer out of the growing area before they are ripe; otherwise, you might find yourself picked clean.

Use the leftovers and allow deer to eat watermelon rinds. This prevents them from making snacks out of your garden. Let deer individually eat watermelon rind as opposed to the entire melon as well. This can save precious numbers of these fruits for you and your family. 

What are some of the more effective methods for keeping deer out of your growing garden?

Discourage Deer from Entering Your Garden

Deer can be incredibly destructive when their herds come through looking for food. These animals can quickly destroy an entire garden in a short period. It’s important that you take the appropriate measures to protect your garden to avoid deer making a quick snack out of it.

One of the best ways to keep deer out of your garden is by building a fenced area around your crops. However, it’s important to note that the fence must be high enough actually to keep the deer out. These animals can hop incredibly tall obstacles, so you have your work cut out for you. It’s also important that deer don’t get hung on the top of the fence and become injured.

Mesh Fencing to Stop Wild Animals 

One of the most cost-effective types of fencing is wire mesh. You can build these to about an eight-foot height, which should be sufficient for keeping deer out. This type of fencing is normally durable and strong enough to keep deer out and withstand the elements.

Wire mesh fencing is purchased in rolls and is staked along its length to support it. This is the same type of fencing used to make chicken coops, also known as chicken wire. You can purchase heavy-duty versions of this fencing to ensure it’s durable enough to keep deer away.

Privacy Fencing for Deer that Eat Watermelon

You can put up privacy fencing around your garden if you want to outsmart deer. It’s important to note that using privacy fencing may not require you to build as high as eight feet. The point of using this fencing is to trick or outsmart the deer.

Deer will normally not leap into areas when they don’t know what lies on the other side. If you have any type of fencing that can’t be seen through, deer are highly unlikely to venture onto the other side. However, there is a catch to this type of fence.

If one brave deer attempts to breach the fence, the jig is up. Either that deer will keep the entire garden to itself or alert the rest of the herd that it’s safe to enter. You might want to consider using other types of deterrents around the top of the fence to keep deer from taking the leap of faith.

Double Fencing for Deer that Eat Watermelon

Double fencing is another method that many property owners use to keep deer out of their gardens. The two portions of fencing are placed close enough together so that deer can’t breach both portions in one leap.

Normally there is not enough space for the deer to breach the second fence if they make it over the first. If a deer does breach the first portion of the fence, you may wake up to a squealing deer you have to release from being trapped.

Additional Options to Deter Deer that Eat Watermelon

Other options exist instead of erecting a fence to keep deer out of your garden. Deer repellant vegetables can be used to keep deer from eating your valuable vegetables and fruits.

Deer will feed on almost anything, and using deer repellant vegetables can be an effective way to keep them from the main portion of your garden. The idea is to keep a few rows of repellant vegetables on the outer perimeter or scattered throughout the garden. Deer will feast on these crops and be turned away, ignoring the selections you don’t want to be disturbed.

These are the different types of repellant vegetables.

·         Strong and smelly plants: Onions, chives, dill, leeks, mint, and garlic will be turned off by herbs and spices like these. They will attempt to chew them but quickly spit them out.

·         Sticky or fuzzy plants: Squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins are not particularly enjoyed by deer. Normally they don’t like most melons, which makes it ironic that they enjoy watermelon so much.

·         Root vegetables: Root vegetables are probably the least favorite for deer. Potatoes, radishes, and beets are all selections that will quickly turn a deer from your garden.

Do Deer Eat Watermelon: Takeaways

It’s true that deer love watermelon and will devour any part of this fruit, including the vines and leaves. However, no matter how much you love deer, deer will make quick work of your garden if you have certain fruits like this on your property.

Taking the proper precautions can prevent deer from destroying the crops you enjoy eating every year. Whether you use fencing or vegetables that turn deer away, it’s important to find the method that works best for you!

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