Fencing and other barriers prevent deer from eating tomatoes and other produce in the garden. Strong scents such as mothballs, herbs or cayenne pepper spray can also deter deer.
This Old House recommends planting a border of highly scented flowers and herbs to keep deer away from tomatoes and other produce. Mint, dill, chives or lavender are choices that will mask the scent of more appealing fruits in the garden.
Better Homes and Gardens recommends using strong scents, such as mothballs or garlic, to deter deer. Place the mothballs or garlic cloves every 5 to 10 feet around the border of the garden. Change scents as needed if deer become begin eating produce.
Pepper spray is a deterrent that one sprays directly on tomato plants. To make the spray, Old World Garden Farms recommends mixing 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper flakes, or 3 finely chopped fresh hot peppers, into 1 gallon of water. Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes, allow to cool for 24 hours, then strain and pour into a garden sprayer. Spray tomatoes and other plants in the garden weekly and after heavy rains to prevent deer from eating plants.
A fence that is at least 8 feet high, or a border of thorny flowers or bushes that is at least five feet high, deters deer that may enter the garden. Fencing should be snug to the ground with no gaps to be an effective deterrent.