WANTED: A better option than 'Shoot, shovel, and Shutup'?

jgourlayFebruary 9, 2009

Folks, the last few years I've had very encouraging results with growing tomatoes in big pots. So much so, I decided to fork out the green to have a landscaper put in a big raised bed garden with real dirt meant to actually grow stuff.

However, my constant nemesis's have been Squirrels and Mockingbirds. We homeschool, and my youngest (now 3) has been fascinated with squirrels and birds since she was a toddler. So I have been able to live with the birds and squirrels because she sits by the window and would run out flapping her arms and giggling every time one appeared. Thus, I didn't lose much.

However, THIS garden is away from the window and she's no longer in the mood to chase. I am not in the mood to let the mockingbirds take a peck out of every ripe tomato while the squirrels take a bite out of every green one. Especially since I spent good coin to have this garden dug and built up.

So, tell me straight. Is there really a way to control these, or do I go ahead and turn my 8 year old loose with the pellet rifle and give him $10 for every dead body he brings to me?

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I use a scarecrow. Sew a shirt, pants, and socks together to look like a person. Use a ball for the head and draw a face on it. then hang the scarecrow from a clothesline near your garden where it can move in the wind. Works for me. Cheryl

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:36PM
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I gave up and pick my tomatoes before they ripen, (just beginning to turn) and place them near a bright window to finish. We have so many birds there is not a chance for controlling them.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 3:34PM
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You can put screening or lightweight wire such as chicken wire over the plants.

I don't think it's a good idea to turn anybody loose with a pellet rifle & pay a bounty on dead bodies.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 11:46AM
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wilo(Central Texas - 8)

I've heard that hanging red Christmas tree ornaments in the plants BEFORE the tomatoes ripen will stop the birds. Evidently they peck the ornaments and decide that those tomatoes are no good and ignore any others that turn red.

I've never tried it, but thought I'd pass along the info.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 2:38PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

I use the red xmas ball system. You can also paint styrofoam balls red.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 3:49PM
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chickenmom(7b/8a, DFW, TX)

Inexpensive rolls of nylon bird netting will stop both birds and squirrels IF you cover the plants and either staple gun the netting to boards on the ground or weight it down so the squirrels can't get under.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 8:33PM
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I'm a little more blunt. DUH! You want to shoot the native birds and wildlife because they are eating food that you put in their dining room. The mockingbird is the state bird and I think it's protected. Even if it isn't it is totally disgusting, sick, twisted, whatever you want to call it, to just go and kill another living creature because it ate your tomatoes! What if your daughter picked the neighbors roses? Should they shoot her? Why not? She picked their roses that they paid money for. What kind of lesson is that in the home school plan? Got a problem? Shoot it!


    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 5:44PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Lighten up, miss beachplant. Everyone is trying to find another alternative. It is obvious that you live miles from where the wildlife has any real effect on your garden and have also forgotten your manners.. I have been asked by the state to kill some of our wildlife to protect the endangered flora on my land. You should read the thread carefully before you go off on some totally uncalled for tangent. You should apologize for your stupidity and inability to read what is written. The lady was asking for ALTERNATIVES and you launch a preemptive strike. SHEESH!!!!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 7:12PM
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"Is there really a way to control these, or do I go ahead and turn my 8 year old loose with the pellet rifle and give him $10 for every dead body he brings to me?"

so what is it that beachplant has missed or misunderstood?

& how is it that her manners are worse than your own?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 2:29PM
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Squirrels,when fried, go really good with fried green tomatoes. As for the mockingbirds, they are protected by law.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 9:26AM
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Wilo: The christmas ball trick worked great in the past, but they've learned it. Hmmm....maybe this year instead of just hanging them when I plant the plants, I'll wait until the middle of the night, hang some green ones. Then wait a month and go out at night again and hang some red ones and see if that fools them.

Tally: I don't mind sharing. If they would eat all the tomatos off a couple of plants, or heck, eat all of the tomatoes they pick, I could live in peace. I'd even grow an extra plant or two for them.

But they go through and peck or chew a just a hole or two in EVERY SINGLE TOMATO on the vine that's ripe, as well as a high percentage of the green ones. Now, that there is selfish and un-neighborly!! If my daugther were to go through and pick half a dozen of my neighbor's roses, that would earn a good scolding. But if she were to go through and pick pick half the petals off of every rose on the plant, including smashing all the buds, why I'd be half inclined to think she deserved to have that woman's tea-cup yorkie come after her! Bet she'd only do it once!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:51AM
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