Whole Leaf Tobacco

Deer eating tobacco leaf

LeftyRighty

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OK, so I've been growing a few dozen tobacco plants at my brothers house, just to see how well they'll do in his climate. He's located in rural central Colorado, at about 7,000 ft elevation, in a heavily forested area. Yeah, numerous deer roam through his property daily (along with bears), and the deer are occasionally eating the tobacco leaf off the plants. When the plants were small, a few were totally devoured, now, they're eating all leaf off a plant, leaving just the stalk. They've destroyed about half the plants.

I don't want to fence the garden patch, but this might be necessary, maybe electric fence. We've tried deer repellents, doesn't deter them.
I'm seeking other suggestions, please.
 

davek14

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I can't garden because of deer and I've always had a garden. One thing I'm finding attractive about growing tobacco is that the deer don't eat it as much. They are worse in a suburban neighborhood with green spaces like mine. No fear of man at all. I tried all the repellants as well and they can jump a pretty high fence. A neighbor has built a chicken wire "room" around his garden and we all buy our tomatoes from him now.

Now, Kentucky boys I used to work with who were in more rural areas would just grin and say, "Well, I can get vegetables... or meat. It's all good."

Edited to add: Dogs sound good if you can go that route. Not little dogs, my ladyfriend's little Spaniel is terrified of deer.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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Interesting, I have deer that bed down in my yard occasionally and they never touch my tobacco. I have had up to 240 plants and said plants are never bothered by deer. The pesky critters will eat my arborvitae shrubs and my rose blooms, but not the tobacco. I guess the deer in your area must be really hungry, because very few mammals will resort to eating tobacco. Tobacco would be at least mildly toxic to deer. Now goats...they will eat just about anything. You sure you don't have goats (wild or otherwise) hanging around?

Sounds like you need a fence. (8' high) Or a high powered rifle...

Tobacco seedlings 9-1-18 East garden.jpgTobacco seedlings 9-1-18 GL 939.jpg

No fence here, or deer damage.

Good luck!

Wes H.
 
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Ben Brand

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When I was commercially farming tobacco (flue cured) in South Africa, our deer "Kudu" also ate the young leaves of some my tobacco occasionally, not so much that it became a problem, but I was planting many Hectares.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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In the spring I sprinkled cayenne pepper on and around my seedlings in the front yard and the hares left them alone (unlike the year before).
 

deluxestogie

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I believe the general theme here is that damn near everything (nematodes, mollusks, insects, mammals, etc.) will munch on baby tobacco, since it lacks a high concentration of its potent alkaloids--until the plant grows larger, and its roots begin to respond to the herbivore predator threat. Only highly specialized critters can thrive on the leaves of older plants. But as evidenced by human tobacco use, if you are persistent, you can handle (and possibly enjoy) a carefully measured dose of those same, toxic alkaloids.

The practice of repeatedly clipping seedling leaves, prior to transplant, artificially induces the roots to increase their alkaloid production, by mimicking herbivore predation. But that alone is seldom sufficient to deter all leaf munching.

Bob
 

CT Tobaccoman

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OK, so I've been growing a few dozen tobacco plants at my brothers house, just to see how well they'll do in his climate. He's located in rural central Colorado, at about 7,000 ft elevation, in a heavily forested area. Yeah, numerous deer roam through his property daily (along with bears), and the deer are occasionally eating the tobacco leaf off the plants. When the plants were small, a few were totally devoured, now, they're eating all leaf off a plant, leaving just the stalk. They've destroyed about half the plants.

I don't want to fence the garden patch, but this might be necessary, maybe electric fence. We've tried deer repellents, doesn't deter them.
I'm seeking other suggestions, please.
Are you sure the deer are eating it? I have never seen this. I live in a tobacco growing area in Connecticut and I have never heard of deer eating tobacco plants. They can cause damage running through the field however.
 

SmokingCrow

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The info on this thread is useful to know, I've about five or six Sika/Japanese deer that sleep in the orchard, where I was planning on growing tobacco. I'll just have to let them grow big in fabric pots before transplanting them.
I've read of other methods of keeping deer out, but have no idea if they are effective or not.
- use 30lb monofiliment fishing line, strung like a three wire fence works by confusing the deer. My concern is that it may snare the deer, so I'm not that keen on the idea.
- use tape from the old music cassette tapes pulled taught and is 'hums' in the wind, that can be strung high up so less chance of snaring.
- I've heard if you put a battery powered radio tuned to BBC Radio 4, mostly talking, keeps foxes out of chicken coops, and may work on shy deer, as for suburbandeer, they may congregate to listen to the weather forecast :LOL:

All food for thought.
 

deluxestogie

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Within the Grand Canyon, I watched a herd of mule deer effortlessly jump upward from a steep scree slope up an 8 foot cliff, and continue upward on the steep slope above the cliff. The key is that they be able to see a place to land safely. A combination of two fences that are too far apart to clear in a single leap, but too close together to easily land in between them is effective in discouraging deer.

On the other hand, I see deer tracks in my tobacco beds relatively frequently, but only rarely is a plant damaged, and only when they are still small transplants.

But what about that black bear the shows up from time to time? And the digging fox pups? And the moles? And the raccoons? And the possums? And the groundhogs? Unlike my vegetables, my tobacco just doesn't suffer enough loss from any mammals to be worth worrying about them.

Bob
 

Brown Thumb

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Deer don’t like tobacco but do like my garden.
My deer around here like me I feed them corn and have a small food plot for them.
When they get in the garden they walk up to the fence them jump 6 x high.
 
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