Varmints Eating Tomatoes

RustyApril 23, 2010

I'm planting tomatoes again this year after skipping last year.

I was so discouraged, every time a tomato would be almost ripe, I'd find it eaten up.

Usually still on the vine, but mostly eaten.

I think it is probably 'possums, or maybe skunks or raccoons. I know we have 'possums, not sure about others.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how to keep the blasted varmints out of my garden patch?

Rusty

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cindjo2(6)

Do you have it enclosed or just completely open? I have a deer fence, which is screening and chicken wire. I saw a wood chuck looking to gain entry once and the varmint new exactly where the doorway was but I spooked him and he didn't return. I also had a motion detector sprinkler which worked wonders... It would shoot a fast hard spray of water at whatever came in the vicinity. That broke so we bought an Owl that hoots.. I will see if that works as well.. Last yr. we had nothing being the sprinkler croaked and the birds were eating my seedling and seeds before I could get them going.. There went the Cukes , the corn they kept at and finally got that going. Birds can be a pain too.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 7:09PM
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Rusty

I live in town, so my back yard is fenced, but not the garden itself.

I imagine I would have to enclose the tomatoes all around plus with a 'roof' to keep them out.

I had hopes there might be some type of repellant that would deter them.

Maybe I will have to resort to traps. I can rent one from the county animal control, a cage type that doesn't hurt the animal. Then they will pick it up when you catch something.

But neighbors close all around us have cats.
I don't really want to trap them even though they wouldn't get hurt.

I may try to look into the motion detector sprinkler.
Are they very expensive?

Living on a pretty low fixed income, I have to watch what I spend.

Thanks,
Rusty

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 7:54PM
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cindjo2(6)

Our motion detector sprinkler was old and I don't know how much it was. Try google to see.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 9:38PM
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catman529(6b)

I don't know if it would work on a possum but Victor rat traps (snap type) work well for smaller varmints like chipmunks, mice, etc. Maybe you could drill a hole in the trap and anchor it to the ground or the house with a cable, in case the possum gets his arms caught and tries to run off.

Just my method of dealing with varmints, there are other more humane ways but I prefer to get rid of them altogether. ;)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 10:52PM
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jonas302(central mn 4)

I had to bring my tomatos in as they just blushed last year in order to get any before the critters the ones that did best were indeterimates staked to be 6 feet tall so no one could reach them

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 11:17PM
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Rusty

Catman, I want to be rid of them, too.
But I have no place to dispose of large bodies. (grin)

Johnas, how do you stake them to be that tall?
'Possums can and will climb almost anything.

Thanks all, for the ideas, keep them coming.

I'm still hoping to find some sort of deterrant, as is used for dogs, cats, etc.
Does anyone know if the mixtures used to deter deer would work for 'possums?

Rusty

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 11:48AM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Big cat manure can be bought at large nurseries. It will keep any critter away. Use as a border around your garden.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 1:11PM
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paloaltomark

Don't rule out rats or mice. Last year I planted tomatoes near an fence that had a dense mat of ivy growing on it. Ivy is a preferred area for rodents since it provides them with shelter and protection from predators. They ate the tomatoes and then ate the tomato stalks, causing the whole plant to die. A total loss. If your problem is rodents you'll need very fine mesh wire to keep them out. Forget plastic mesh, they'll eat right through it.

-PlanterTomato

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 9:03PM
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jonas302(central mn 4)

a really tall steel t post to tie them to your right possums and coons can probly climb that to most of my problem I believe to be field mice

Maybe a diversion from your garden? last year we trapped 8 coons at a bird feeder a few hundred feet fron the garden they never made it over to find my sweet corn

That tiger manure sounds like a good idea wonder if you can get it mailorder

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 11:39AM
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