Just venting - stupid birds!

jennieboyer(8)June 16, 2012

Hi all - I have 10 tomato plants (2 early girl, 2 better boy, and 6 cherry) in a raised bed in my backyard. They are doing FANTASTIC - except that I can't get a tomato to fully ripen on the vine - I will go out, say "that looks like it will be ready tomorrow", go inside, come out next morning. Half the tomato will be eaten. GRRRRRR.

I have started to pull them all off as they start to turn pinkish to ripen indoors. Hopefullly that will work. I am out of window sill space, but do have a table right next to a window that I am going to put them on - think they will get enough sun?

Thanks for letting me vent!


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They don't need to get sun to finish ripening. The only things that will effect how quickly they ripen are temperature (slight effect) and other fruits/veggies putting off ethylene (big effect).

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 9:09PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

If half of a tomato is eaten it isn't birds b'c what they do is to peck holes in the fruits.

So no doubt some critters that are getting into your backyard, or even slugs if you're near a water source.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 9:47PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

If it's been dry, putting a birdbath or saucer (like the kind that goes under a large terra cotta pot) in the garden may help keep them away from your fruit.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 12:51AM
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Could also be squirrels - I have some that have been pecked - others that are half gone. Many of the eaten ones are higher and deeper than I thought the squirrels could get without causing damage. Who knows - either way - not happy!

And it's not lack of water - it's rained every day for about 2 weeks. My beds are in the back of my yard, with a "dry" creek bed right behind them. The creek bed is full of water!

To top it off (and off topic for this forum), all my cucumbers have cucumber wilt! :-(

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 7:19AM
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As has been said.
If the tomatoes are mostly eaten then that is most likely Ecoterrorist (Squirrels).
I have a bird net over my tomatoes but the ecoterrorist can get right thought that easily of course.
They have gotten 4 of my tomatoes at this point and I have gotten 11 of them so far.

Started trapping them last week and giving them a one way ticket to a park several miles away.
That is the ONLY way they will stop is either lead poisoning or trapping.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 8:08AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

It's not just squirrels that will eat tomato fruits, it's woodchucks, groundhogs to some of you, raccoons, skunks, rats, mice, deer, etc., and don't forget the slugs ( I have a beautiful brook that runs by my home and then cascades over a 30 ft waterfall to a marshy area below, thus the slugs).

Except for rats which don't populate the areas where I've grown my plants, but others have IDed them as perps as well, I've had all the other ones damage fruits.

Sometimes you can even tell which critter by looking at the bite marks on the fruits. And I had help with that at the old farm where I was raised and moved back to from Denver in 1982 to take care of elderly parents but still was working full time, b'c my brother is a first class tracker of foot prints as well as mouth prints, if you will. ( smile)

Carolyn, who actually is very entertained by the many squirrels here where she now lives. Love to see the reds , small though they are, chase the larger grey ones off and then the older and younger grey ones go at it as well. No way to keep them out of blackoil feeders, so when I call for delivery of Blackoil seeds I think half of it goes to the squirrels and half to the birds. And I've not seen the squirrels in my tomatoes in the now almost 14 years I've been at this new place.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 9:37AM
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Well Squirrels are definitely eating my tomatoes because I have caught them in the act.
I have managed to easily keep them out of my bird feeder.

I use a Squirrel Buster Plus feeder which works excellent, no way any squirrel can get so much as a single seed from it.

Raccoon's on the other hand are large enough that they can get to the feeder, so I stopped them by simply applying some "Flaming Squirrel" Habanero oil to the seeds.

Now no Raccoon's or Squirrels get a single seed.

Impossible to keep them off of everything though, so only way is to give them a one way ticket away from you.
In my case I am trapping them with a Havaheart trap and transplanting them to a nice park a few miles away.

They are also totally destroying my neighbors attic, just like they did ours about 7-8 years ago.

I wish I could just feed them a big bowl of cracked corn everyday and have them leave everything else alone but they wont. All that does is bring in more of them and they still chomp on my flowers and Tomatoes and my Blueberries.

So they gotta go.

Here is a link that might be useful: Squirrel Buster Plus

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 12:57PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I didn't say that squirrels won't eat tomato fruits, I said that there are other critters that do that as well. ( smile)

And it isn't in me to buy products that deter squirrels or raccoons either and add in deer and the other ones I mentioned.

To each his or her own, say I. ( smile)

Carolyn, who thoroughly enjoys the diversity of flora and fauna of her 30 acres here in upstate NY on the VT border after having a father who would shoot anything that had four feet or flew, of course in season, and grew up seeing the deer hanging from a rafter in an old barn that were shot by members of his Rod and Gun Club. She loves it when the does bring their fawns down to the backyard so she can meet them, even sitting in her car honking the horn as the stately procession of wild turkeys cross the road oblivious to the horn. ( smile)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 1:20PM
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I know Carolyn.
I would rather have the Squirrels here also BUT not at the expense of them destroying all my tomatoes and my blueberries and 1000s of dollars of damage to my neighbors house.

If they weren't lil ecoterrorist I would love watching them.
But they are WAY too destructive when you have dozens of them all over.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 7:51PM
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harveyhorses(7 Midlothian Va)

I have electric fence to keep the deer out, but after seeing the ecoterrorusts at work I strung one strand about two inches off the ground. I actually wrapped the fencing around each post because there were now slots as low as I needed.
Nothing has given me such a chuckle in a long time, seeing them scamper between that wire and the next one up and hear the POP when their tails touch it. I am a sick and twisted person. There is much consternation in squirrel land. :))

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:37AM
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