Growing tomatoes is a great idea because it means you’ll be able to source your own tomatoes when making dishes that call for them. You put a lot of work into growing tomatoes and it’s nice to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labors.
However, people who start growing tomatoes will often run into little problems along the way. One of the most common issues involves having birds swoop down and eat your tomatoes.
No one wants to put in all of that work to grow tomatoes only to have birds eat a significant portion of them. If you’ve noticed birds eating your tomatoes recently, then you likely want to figure out how to stop this from happening moving forward.
The information below will give you some good ideas that you can use to keep birds from eating your tomatoes. If you’re able to utilize this advice properly, then your tomatoes won’t be in so much danger.
1 – Use Bird Netting to Protect Your Tomatoes
One of the most practical things that you can do to try to protect your plants is to go out and buy some bird netting. Bird netting is great for making it impossible for birds to land in an area and eat your tomatoes.
To get this to work properly, you’re going to need to build some type of framework for the bird netting around the tomato plants. You could use fence posts to get this job done, but some people will even simply place wooden stakes in the ground so that they can install the netting properly.
You need to get the height just right and how high things need to be will depend on the height of your tomato plants. Generally, you’re going to need to have your setup be somewhere between three and eight feet tall.
With the framework in place, you’re just going to need to place the netting. Do your best to install the netting without having the nets actually touch the tomato plants.
The netting should also be secured to the ground using some type of wire. If done properly, the birds won’t be able to reach the tomatoes any longer.
2 – You Could Try to Scare the Birds Away Too
Another option is to try to scare the birds away using moving objects. There are actually many things that you can place near your tomato plants that will scare the birds.
Shiny objects seem to work really well for this purpose. Some people have found success using simple garden pinwheels to confuse and scare birds so that they won’t want to get too close to crops.
You don’t have to go out and buy shiny objects if you have some old items sitting around at home that you can use. It’s possible to hang old DVD discs to scare birds away if you can find something to hang them on near the tomato plants.
Many people will buy reflective strip tape and place it near the tomato plants. This also does a good job of repelling birds and it’s very easy to use.
You’ve probably heard of the concept of using scarecrows. Farmers will sometimes place scarecrows near their crops to try to keep birds from feeling comfortable about landing too close.
It might be more effective to use some type of decoy that will scare the local birds. For example, many birds are afraid of owls because they’re known as natural predators.
You could place an owl decoy near your tomato plants and you’d probably get pretty good results. Simply try some of these scare tactics and it’ll make it far less likely that the birds in the area will feel safe enough to try eating your tomato plants.
3 – Place Birdbaths and Bird Feeders in the Area
Have you thought about the reason why birds in the area are likely trying to eat your tomato plants? Typically, birds don’t bite into tomatoes because they’re looking for something to eat.
They actually bite into the tomatoes because they’re thirsty and they understand that tomatoes are juicy and contain a lot of water. This means that you might be able to just give the birds what they need elsewhere so that they will leave your tomato plants alone.
You should consider installing a birdbath somewhere on your property. This gives the birds in the area a place where they can stop and easily get a drink of water.
Birdbaths also happen to look very nice overall. They can add a bit of aesthetic appeal to your yard and you’ll feel good about helping the birds out.
If you think that the birds might be hungry as well, then you should install some bird feeders. When the birds are able to eat things that they like to eat out of the bird feeders, it’s going to be less likely that they would go for your tomatoes.
Having bird feeders and birdbaths on your property will likely make a difference. This might be better than trying to keep the birds away from the tomato plants completely, too.
You might not have realized this, but birds can actually be beneficial to the tomato plants. Birds eat insects that can harm tomato plants such as snails and hornworms.
When you don’t have birds around to eat the insects like this, it’s going to be necessary to take extra steps to try to protect your tomato plants. In many ways, having to worry about insects is just as problematic as having to be concerned about birds.
If you have enough space in your yard, then placing a birdbath and a bird feeder might work out nicely. Those who simply don’t like having birds around can use scare tactics or bird netting instead.
4 – Remember to Harvest Tomatoes When They’re Pink
You can protect your tomatoes by not leaving them on the plant for longer than necessary. It’s actually appropriate to harvest the tomatoes when they start to turn pink.
At this point in time, the tomatoes are only going to need warm temperatures to ripen. This means that you can take them inside and they will ripen just fine.
Leaving the tomatoes outside and failing to harvest them puts them in danger. That gives birds, insects, and other animals more of an opportunity to eat the tomatoes.
It just makes sense to harvest your tomatoes when they’re pink to make things safer. Don’t wait longer than you have to if you’ve been encountering issues with your tomatoes getting eaten.
Remember that many animals will try to eat tomatoes. Squirrels, opossums, and even rats could be to blame.
You can see that there are many options when you’re trying to keep birds away from your tomato plants. If you’ve been having significant problems with birds eating your tomatoes, then you should be able to solve things using the advice above.
Sometimes just providing an alternative for the birds will be enough. You might have good results if you choose to install a birdbath and bird feeders on your property.
Otherwise, you can easily scare the birds away using shiny objects near the tomato plants. You can buy some reflective tape or you can simply try to hang up old DVDs.
Bird netting will keep the birds from even being able to get to the tomato plants. Using this works well, but it will mean that you won’t have birds around to eat harmful insects that can bother your tomato plants.
Just make the decision that makes the most sense for you. You’ll be able to grow your tomatoes successfully and you’ll be glad that you took action.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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