Thursday, June 21, 2012

How To Stop Birds From Eating Your Tomatoes

Our tomato plants are finally starting to take off! They are growing so tall that we've put cages around them to help them grow straight. We're starting to see lots of flowers, and even have some tiny tomatoes growing.


We know the first few years of gardening out here will be trial and error, but we really don't want any birds (or guineas!) to eat our tomatoes once they get nice and big. I read a very interesting tip in a magazine a few years ago on how to keep birds from eating your tomatoes while they are ripening on the vine. It seemed crazy at first, but once I thought about it, it really made sense and seemed like a great idea.


The article suggested putting unbreakable red Christmas ornaments on your tomato vines before your tomatoes start to ripen. Birds will peck at the ornaments, thinking they are tomatoes. When they realize they aren't edible, they forget about the plants for good. Then when your tomatoes actually do start to get red and ripen, the birds won't eat them because they still associate the fruit with the inedible ornaments.


We figured it was worth a try!


They actually do look like tomatoes from far away, so maybe it will really work. Only time will tell!

~Tammy

14 comments:

  1. Even if it doesn't work, it's like Xmas every day in your garden now. :-)

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  2. I was wondering why all those red ornaments were hanging on your tomato plants.

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    1. Wow, thank you so much for the recognition! I'll check out your site. Thanks again! :)

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  4. lol, That is awesome! I think I'm going to have to go to the Christmas closet and raid it! Thanks for the tip!

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  5. Well, did the Christmas balls work? I'm dying to know!

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    1. Hi Barbara - they have done the trick! We haven't lost any this year due to birds. We have had other issues, but the birds have been kept at bay :)

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  6. JenFebruary 26, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    I am going to try that. Did you wait to pick your tomatoes until they were fully ripe, or mostly red with a tad bit of orange? I found if I waited for mine to fully ripen, they were eaten the next day. Thanks.

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    1. We wait until our fruit is completely ripe before harvesting off the vine. We haven't had any problems with birds eating them since we started using the ornaments, so I'd say they are working!

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  7. Great!!! I will get some ornaments right away. I'm not sure what could be eating my unripe, green ones. Have you ever had an issue with birds or something else liking unripe, green tomatoes? Thanks.

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    1. I don't think we've ever had problems with birds eating unripe tomatoes, but we have had issues with blossom end rot before. Is that maybe what you're experiencing? Or are the whole tomatoes being eaten? We have also had problems with tomato hornworms in the past. Here's the post on that - http://www.ourneckofthewoods.net/2012/09/tomato-hornworms.html

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  8. I took a look at some images of blossom end rot and mine did not look like that. I have seen some of mine with small holes in them but these looked more like half eaten tomoatoes. I have not seen the hornworms yet but I will keep an eye out for them. I have been spraying the plant once or twice a week with Neem Oil in a water bottle so either that is helping or I'm just lucky:) Thanks!

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    1. Sure, no problem! I wish you the best of luck! :)

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