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Oh, no! My tomatoes!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
We had two really pretty tomatoes that we were planning to pick today. They looked gorgeous and red from a distance. I went outside to discover that something had gnawed into both of them! This is the second time this has happened this year (I would have had a ripe tomato before the 4th for the first time ever if not for this culprit). We have rabbits around here...I wonder if it could be them? I've had a garden every year since I've been married and nothing non-insect has ever bothered the tomatoes. Bummer!
post #2 of 14
Rabbits typically don't go in for ripe veggies or fruits, they more fond of greenery.

Do you perchance have any coyotes in the area? Those guys will eat strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, dogfood, etc.
post #3 of 14
The squirrels will eat them. Those little jerks ruined every attempt I made at growing tomatoes. They also ruined our sunflowers.
post #4 of 14
I know later in the season slugs will climb on the plants and chew holes.

Try putting lunch bags over the tomatoes or if you could find some Remay-its a light, white cloth for plant protection, cover the plants and the sun would still get in to ripen.
post #5 of 14
I stopped trying to grow tomotoes in the ground. the squirrels just take a bite out of everyone of them. don't know why. I have to settle for one cherry tomato plant on the back porch.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by clixpix View Post
The squirrels will eat them. Those little jerks ruined every attempt I made at growing tomatoes. They also ruined our sunflowers.
Ah, be nice to the squirrels, they are just looking for a snack! You provide a banquet to the critters, don't be mad if the critters come and enjoy! I have done many a battle with the fluffy tailed demons (I say that with love) over bird feeders!
We used to grow sunflowers just for the squirrels, an attempt to keep them off the corn , didnt work, but we had a nice crop of fat happy squirels! (no, we did not eat them)
post #7 of 14
You could always pick your tomato right as it starts to turn pink. Then place your tomato in the window to ripen.
post #8 of 14
Mockingbirds are making a mockery out of my tomatoes.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi. Thanks for your replies. I've only seen about one squirrel in our yard over the years I've lived here, but I'm not sure why. We live in a wooded area and they do jump around in the trees behind our house. I even bought a squirrel feeder once to try to entice them, but they wouldn't come up. We do have other wildlife here, including coyotes. For some reason, they were deliberately brought to NC by somebody. They weren't here to begin with, though I have seen a wolf. Whatever is eating my tomatoes doesn't pull them off the vine but just rakes through the skin. I wish they would just take one instead of ruining all of them. There are also mockingbirds here, too. I don't mind sharing my tomatoes, but please whoever is doing it, leave some for me!
post #10 of 14
Classic mockingbird signs...once their babies are reared for the season, it will stop, so if you can keep the vines alive, you'll have fall tomatoes!
post #11 of 14
This happens to me every year (until I wise up, and get out the fencing). We have groundhogs, and I have seen them eat the neighbor's tomatoes, even the green ones.

I wonder if deer also eat them? We definitely have deer damage on the surrounding vegetable plants, but they usually nip the leaves off.

I bought the green plastic fencing mesh on a roll at Home Depot--about $7-8 for a small roll--thinks its either 25 or 50 ft long, about 3 ft high--but comes in larger sizes. I jam poles, such as the bamboo stakes they sell in the garden center--about 5 ft long, though the mesh, then into the ground. Do it as much as you need to support the "fence" sections, and put it around your plants. Make sure the mesh is not the big, 3"x 3" or bigger mesh--the smaller, the better. You just weave your poles through the mesh in a number of places around the piece you cut. You may need wider fencing. The bottom edge of mine goes to the top of a built-in planter, which is 12" tall. Or, just use 2 pieces, 1 on top of the other (which you can cut to size) and get longer poles.

You could do this with chicken wire, too, but that's nasty to work with, and I don't like the silver color, andI think it may be more expensive (?).
post #12 of 14
My box turtles LOVED tomatoes. Is your garden fenced in?
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by nurseangel View Post
I don't mind sharing my tomatoes, but please whoever is doing it, leave some for me!
This made me laugh, hopefully that will happen.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
My box turtles LOVED tomatoes. Is your garden fenced in?
Oh, dear. Turtles like them too? Our garden is within a large chain link fence, but not a smaller enclosure. I've decided to let whatever is eating the tomatoes have them. They probably need them worse than I do. I went out and bought some yesterday from a roadside stand. I hope I will get to taste some of my own when they all start ripening at once. I don't think this creature can keep up with that!
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