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Protecting Tomatoes

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Protecting Tomatoes

Post  jerik on 9/30/2010, 10:15 am

Any suggestions about how to protect vertically growing tomatoes from squirrels? My tomatoes are growing too tall for a cage. They're great, but squirrels are getting more than their fair share!
Would love some ideas to use next year! thanks. jeri

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Re: Protecting Tomatoes

Post  quiltbea on 9/30/2010, 11:22 am

Are you sure its squirrels and not tomato hornworm?
I thought I had chipmunk problems but it was approximately a dozen tomato hornworm that were devastating my toms.
There would be little chunks that looked like tooth action on my tomatoes and the leaves were disappearing rapidly.
I picked the green hornworms (giant green caterpillars) off by hand and squashed them in a bread wrapper or between paper towels. Ugh!

If its squirrels, maybe hanging deodorant soap on poles nearby will help. They rid me of deer damage to my young dwarf fruit trees last year. I hung Irish Spring soap (it must be deodorant soap) out again this year and no deer damage at all to the trees.

Good luck.
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Re: Protecting Tomatoes

Post  camprn on 9/30/2010, 7:28 pm

I have had a wee red squirrel pinching green tomatoes for a few weeks. Now the apples are falling so that keeps him busy elsewhere.
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Re: Protecting Tomatoes

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/30/2010, 8:23 pm

Squirrels were eating my Moms tomatoes too. But it was kinda funny. Mom has
huge trees in her yard and the squirrels would get startled when she would come outside and they would be in a big tree already munching on a tomato---- the squirrels would drop the partially eaten toms and the toms would drop a good 13 to 20 feet to the ground.
Mom had to watch out for tomato bombs.

Sorry---if you have a really bad problem with squirrels---the only way to keep them out is to build a large closed in tomato cage--------like a chicken coop. Or start shooting.

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Re: Protecting Tomatoes

Post  Megan on 9/30/2010, 8:34 pm

You know, I'm amazed I didn't have more squirrel damage. Maybe it was all the catnip I planted.....?
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Re: Protecting Tomatoes

Post  sfg4uKim on 9/30/2010, 8:49 pm

Would you be able to "tack" netting to the back of your box and bring it up over the trellis/support to cover the tomato plants?
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Re: Protecting Tomatoes

Post  Megan on 9/30/2010, 8:54 pm

ksroman wrote:Would you be able to "tack" netting to the back of your box and bring it up over the trellis/support to cover the tomato plants?

Kim.... you do realize you just posted to the Mid-Atlantic forum, right? So you should be good to go! Very Happy
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Re: Protecting Tomatoes

Post  sfg4uKim on 9/30/2010, 9:13 pm

Yes, Megan (giggle). I don't know what was up before. I made sure it was a "current" topic. I know you can't post to "closed" ones.
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Re: Protecting Tomatoes

Post  Megan on 9/30/2010, 9:16 pm

You should be good to go. If you run into any difficulty, let me know and I'll try to help you. Smile
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RE: squirrels

Post  trustinhart on 10/1/2010, 10:26 pm

Hey Megan!!! I wonder if the catnip would work for my skunk. Our neighrhood bully has been munching my toms, just the ones at his height Evil or Very Mad You can always tell when he's been around for obvisious reasons other than the toms!!
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Re: Protecting Tomatoes

Post  sceleste54 on 10/1/2010, 11:51 pm

I had exactly the same problem early in the season. Squirrels were chomping non-stop on my tomatoes, and the birds were getting the rest. I bought bird netting at Lowe's and draped it over everything. I tied some aluminium strips randomly to the netting that fluttered in the breeze. I also dusted everything liberally with cayenne pepper. Between the two ( The cayenne stopped the squirrels and the netting stopped the birds..)

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Re: Protecting Tomatoes

Post  Megan on 10/2/2010, 3:54 am

trustinhart wrote:Hey Megan!!! I wonder if the catnip would work for my skunk. Our neighrhood bully has been munching my toms, just the ones at his height Evil or Very Mad You can always tell when he's been around for obvisious reasons other than the toms!!

Gosh, I don't know...I've never heard of mustelids reacting to catnip one way or another. I suppose I could experiment to see what my ferrets think of the stuff.
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