how to save my tomatoes??

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by a3b, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. a3b

    a3b Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Hi all,
    My tomato plants are doing great but the problem is something (birds?, cats?, i don't know what??) gets to my tomatoes before i do. how can i save them??
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Lostmind

    Lostmind Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Port Moody
    well, it's a poor quality pic BUT it looks pretty much like the field mice damage I had last year on my tomatoes.

    I tried the plug in sound things, but they didn't work. This year I am trying the coyote pee in a bottle, but doubt it'll work too. Apparently you can buy a fake owl and it might scare them away... dunno if I believe that either.

    I think really the only way to win is to buy the mouse killing pellets BUT I don't know if I can bring myself to do that.

    However, last year I lost nearly all of my tomatoes to the mice. I had a dozen plants or so, all about 6'-8' tall with tons of fruit and I think I managed to harvest a dozen or maybe 20 tomatoes :(
     
  3. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,776
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Do you have a cat? The very best mouse-repellant I've found is kitty (or multiple kitties) in the garden.
     
  4. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Surrey,BC,Canada
    Rodents can take out tomatoes faster than you can grow them...I've had the same experience. Always the coloured up fruit tho...I'm surprised they would attack such a green tomato, plus it kinda looks like the "hole" has callused over a bit, meaning it happened a while back.

    Is there any evidence of leaves being chewed as well, which would make insects a possibility? I guess if mice were hungry enough, they may have taken some bites...and they will probably be back when the fruit ripens some more.

    Definitely need to identify the pest before you can some up with a strategy to protect your crop...surveillance video perhaps :-)
     
  5. Lostmind

    Lostmind Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Port Moody
    I lost a lot of green tomatoes to mice last year.

    They didn't start the attack until the first fruits turned pink... then they had a taste for the tomatoes and came back every night, gobbling up any fruits remaining, green or starting to ripen..
     
  6. a3b

    a3b Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Initially it was just the ripe tomatoes now it's green one's as well.so frustrated to see all my work go down the drain like this..is there a protective net of some kind??
     
  7. Zachrey

    Zachrey Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Richmond, BC
    Some possibilities are 1/4" hardware cloth fencing around the garden. Need to make sure the fencing goes into the ground a bit to prevent burrowing under. Though they could simply climb it. Or make some kind of solid fence that has a strip of metal flashing up high so they can't climb over the top of the fence.

    Another possibility is a moat, if climate is wet enough during growing season. I don't think mice like to swim very much.

    Fencing also helps to keep out rabbits, voles, dogs, cats, etc.

    Two foot wide moat? ;-) could be interesting!
     
  8. Lostmind

    Lostmind Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Port Moody
    I'm using coyote urine this year as a deterrent. Let's hope it works. The ultrasonic devices didn't work last year :(
     
  9. punkin patch

    punkin patch Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Richmond, Va USA
    the owl you mentioned should work well. But post it in a realistic spot, like on the roof of your shed or on a branch or something. Maybe even build a perch in the garden for him to sit on. The owl will work if used properly. Also keeps out squirrels, smaller birds, rabbits, foxes and anything else owls eat. Wouldn't you avoid something that you knew wanted to make you dinner?
     
  10. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Surrey,BC,Canada
    Hi punkin patch--I'm curious if you've had success yourself with the owl. I must admit the first time I saw one attached to a building I thought it was real!

    I have since heard that the owl must be moved constantly to achieve the desired deterring effect...just wondering what real life experiences people have had with them.
     
  11. punkin patch

    punkin patch Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Richmond, Va USA
    we used to use them for pigeons that used to crap all over my car. It did work, and I would assume it'd work for mice and other rodents as well as it did for the birds. I don't know if you're supposed to move them or not. Makes sense, rodents are smarter than they get credit for. We never did, but we were dealing with "bird-brains". : ) If I had a problem with anything in my garden I would definitely try that first. Just based on my experience. Best of luck! I am watching my tomatoes like a hawk now...this year is my first garden and I had something very similar happen to a baby pumpkin the other day. But it was only one, I think it was a cat or something since nothing else has been touched. Best of Luck!

    Jeff
     

Share This Page