Squirrels eating your GREEN tomatoes?!!?

Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)July 3, 2011

I'm behond mad!!! My tomatoes that were fully loaded with green tomatoes from the size of limes on up are ALL gone! The squirrels got a taste of the GREEN ones and cleaned them off. We saw a squirrel sitting on the fence the other day munching on a green that was the size of an orange so we know it's squirrels. This is the first time I've ever experienced this. Our Asian pear tree was LOADED with pears this spring and we didn't get a single pear due to the squirrels. Same with the peach tree. Same with the pecan tree. Now tomatoes??!! Ideas?

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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

I had a neighbor that built large "boxes" fron chicken wire and 1x1s They turned them upside down over the garden plants.
I think they were about 4x4ft.What ever height you want. Light weight enough that they were easy to lift for harvesting.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 5:25PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

I feel sorry for you and the squirrels. What a brutal year.
My squirrels might be the wierdest squirrels in the universe, IDK. I have strawberries and tomatoes fruiting right now. I also have a TON of squirrels and a resident rabbit too. They seem to prefer the wildlife plants over my human crops. They didn't go after my sugar snap peas earlier in the season either. Maybe it's because there is a Kiefier pear they are more used to. Maybe it's becasue of a huge pecan tree nearby. Maybe it's the acorns on the Chinkapin I planted (a very sweet acorn). I have my garden designed to attract wildlife including lots of water. Maybe they fill up on water and aren't as hungry? You could try planting some native berry/grass/fruit stuff and see if they like it more than your human food?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 10:25PM
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Racoons are strippimg my pear trees at night.

Every morning there is a mess of green leaves and half eaten unripe pears scattered about.

I trapped one last year, but have decided to just give up.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 11:58PM
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I think pj is right, I didn't want to jinx myself but we also have lots of squirrels and so far they have not messed with the garden. They do visit the bird bath for drinks several times a day, I think they are just desperate for water/moisture. Mockingbirds on the other hand...grrr

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 9:30AM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

Oh yes, the mockingbirds!!! First it was them pecking and eating the tomatoes the second they had even the slightest yellowing. I picked my tomatoes greenish yellow and brought them in to ripen.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 7:46PM
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In the past I've had birds
and squirrels, too,
get my tomatoes.
I did two things different this year.

I invested in an Owl 'scare crow'.
Very realistic and life sized owl,
With a head that moves in the breeze.
Also hung used CDs from the tomato cages.
When the plants covered them,
I put stakes in the ground with a small cross piece
To hang the CD from.
So far. . . . .
(knock on wood)
No damage from squirrels or birds.

And the CDs are really kind of pretty,
Flashing a rainbow of pretty colors in the bright sun.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 1:00PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

I like CDs for the way they look too. A mocking bird did snitch a couple strawberries before finding wild grapes better.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 6:29PM
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I went so far as to put up a chicken wire fence all around my tomato plants this year! The squirrels are STILL eating them...tried brushing garlic water over them, then sprinkling with tabasco Sauce. I'm ready to give up, except someone on this forum mentioned moth balls? While I'm not crazy about sprinking them on the earth as they are pretty toxic, I'll try just about anything (other than killing them...)!!! Any more ideas???any that WORK???

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 9:20AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Put your moth balls in some kind of mesh bag and hang it on something to keep the birds and other critters from injesting them. The results are the same without the danger.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 2:28PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Paint some type of balls red and hang them on the plants. After a few bites of tennis or styrofoam balls the critters leave them alone.
Of course that would work on a normal year.
I use red xmas balls. But you have to remember to buy them at Xmas.
I was just thinking....maybe artifical fruit would be better.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 6:59PM
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Red xmas balls really work?! The dratted birds ate the green (and green colored) pomegranates this year way before they were ready-- at the beginning of July!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 8:12PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Yes, the red xmas balls really worked for me many times. You have to hang them on the plants well before you have any tomatoes. By the time you have fruit the birds will have decided the glass or styro taste terrible.
I have used them on my fruit trees also.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 10:17AM
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The squirrels are starving this year, they'll eat anything.

Cage the tomatoes.
Feed the squirrels--well away from your garden.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 1:15PM
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