Author Topic: ack! my baby tomato plants!  (Read 2225 times)

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Offline ankleslapper

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ack! my baby tomato plants!
« on: May 10, 2012, 09:05:12 AM »
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  • okay, does anyone have remedies, scientific or superstitious, for deterring birds & squirrels from tomato plants?  Especially young plants?  Recently planted baskets of cherry tomato (vine) and some bush-variety in big bucket planter -- and each day, am finding them chewed back to STICKS -- almost to dirt level -- I'm not sure they are salvageable at this point.  I planted marigolds next to tomatoes (have read squirrels don't like) -- and they are getting decimated too.  Witnessed a starling breaking off young branches & flying away with them, as if to build a nest.  Earlier this week, I created a giant foil "owl" (arts & crafts!) to look like a predator.  This morning my husband put the barrel tomatoes back in "jail" with a huge wire cage.  I'm going to make a witches brew of onion, jalapeno and cayenne in spray bottle & liberally douse plants.  Game on.  Any tips?  It's so depressing looking at these twigs that used to be leafy plants.  I think I have to order more...there goes that investment.  Seriously, I think this didn't happen in years past b/c I had a mama stray cat teaching kittens to hunt in my yard.  where's a feral cat when you need one?!

    Offline snaggletooth

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 10:21:49 AM »
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  • that sucks. i have no experience with this, but i think, if it's birds, some sort of cage / net may be the only thing. you could try hanging old cds (or other shiny objects) around the plants to scare the birds away, but i suspect they catch on and realize they can keep molesting your plants.

    Offline surfplusart

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 12:24:52 PM »
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  • time for uncle to carve an owl out of driftwood

    or... cat on a leash
    decoy treats
    i bought a huge container of cayenne pepper from nsa... too lazy to use it...
    more cages
    play recording of predators - hawk screeches

    i like snaggle's idea too.
    Darian would go

    Offline Shacky

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 12:39:23 PM »
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  • I just cover my stuff until it's well established, or outgrows the frame.  For cats I have a ultrasonic thing that makes it uncomfortable for them to hang around. 
    You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

    http://www.condotheband.com

    Offline jscottk

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 12:51:56 PM »
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  • Just make Uncle sleep in the backyard..


    Wire mesh cages, shark tanks or hang the body of a dead squirrel near it*.


    *( actually that wont work, since squirrels are cannibalistic and eat each others young )


    ..Whore it to death then sell the corpse on Craigslist... (used to be Ebay but eff Ebay and Paypal)

    Offline ankleslapper

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 04:18:04 PM »
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  • I just cover my stuff until it's well established, or outgrows the frame.  For cats I have a ultrasonic thing that makes it uncomfortable for them to hang around. 
    No Shacky...I WANT the cats! (actually, let me rephrase that -- I want the cats only-in-so-far-as they keep the OTHER pests away...careful what you wish for!)  Today I brewed onion/jalapeno/cayenne recipe found online (to spray) AND followed snaggle's tip re: "shiny / noisy things" --- I recall seeing aluminum 'pie pans' tethered around gardens...and actually tied a few on fishing line above each plant. They catch the wind & clank around (neighbors will love it!). It's my green-thumb wind-chime.  Oh and yes -- surfplusart -- the local hardware store has those giant bobble head owls too!!  I'm doing a multi-prong approach.
    the A is a small price to pay

    Offline jscottk

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 04:35:42 PM »
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  • The squirrels do nothing but taunt our cats, the squirrels show no fear what so ever...
    In fact Im sure they would eat the cats if the moment was right..


    Just keep building bigger chicken wire huts...
    ..Whore it to death then sell the corpse on Craigslist... (used to be Ebay but eff Ebay and Paypal)

    Offline ankleslapper

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012, 06:48:38 PM »
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  • vegetable penitentiary!  my yard is gonna be a riot of whirlygigs, windmills, tinfoil, mobiles, chimes and boobytraps.  And careful, don't sniff anything too closely or your eyes will be watering...and don't dare pick/eat a piece of fruit without washing it! (and your hands!)


    (and yeah, do NOT eff with area squirrels - they mean business - and by looks, none of 'em are starving)
    the A is a small price to pay

    Online onefinookas

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 04:58:15 PM »
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  • you sure its birds and not those devily tomato caterpillar things, they reeked havoc on our tomatoes a few years back?  And yes I know you saw a bird in your tomatoes plant but that doesnt seem typical to me.
    "paddleboarding is bullshlt, where's my wine" anonymous

    Offline ankleslapper

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 03:53:03 PM »
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  • definitely a starling snapping off the young branches & coming back for more.  tin pie plates clanking around & cayenne pepper spray seem to be doing the trick.  New growth has sprouted & the plants haven't sustained further damage.  Imagine we won't get tons of fruit, but hoping the plants will hang on.  A few flowers here & there.
    the A is a small price to pay

    Offline snaggletooth

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 04:02:04 PM »
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  • definitely a starling snapping off the young branches & coming back for more.  tin pie plates clanking around & cayenne pepper spray seem to be doing the trick.  New growth has sprouted & the plants haven't sustained further damage.  Imagine we won't get tons of fruit, but hoping the plants will hang on.  A few flowers here & there.

    you never know - maybe they will come back stronger...

    Offline Northstreet

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 04:14:53 PM »
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  • I fought the squirrels and the squirrels won.......I gave up last year.  I think the best thing to do is provide decoy food that they spend their time burying.  Dump some peanuts or something each day to confuse them.  But you might end up with peanut plants in strange places.   A long time ago in grad school, I actually followed a nest of squirrels for a few days via spotting scope and binoculars taking notes on behavior.  Pretty interesting little jerks....

    Offline ankleslapper

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 07:56:57 PM »
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  • ha ha, my squirrels are NOT hungry.  We literally found a slice of nibbled pizza in our driveway.  We do put out birdseed, which I know they eat.  Found a gnawed strawberry on my porch today (mine are beginning to flower -- must be from a neighbor's garden).  You should see them demolish our jack-o-lanterns every Fall.  Pumpkins last one night & half a morning. 


    For squirrels, we cage everything.  It was my few hanging tomato baskets that got obliterated by birds (I think one mutant operating independently). What would be cool is an entire caged garden structure with a door --- that's next!  Snag, hope you're right.  I never 'pinch' my plants, so maybe they did it for me & they'll grow like crazy.  what fun!
    the A is a small price to pay

    Offline HydroGlide

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #13 on: May 18, 2012, 04:34:45 PM »
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  • its organic and bio-friendly

    Offline lisa

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    Re: ack! my baby tomato plants!
    « Reply #14 on: May 27, 2012, 07:26:01 AM »
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  • Cover in chicken wire?  Maybe barbed wire?