5/21/12

The Tomato Phantom

My backyard garden has two beautiful tomato plants this year, and I already have tomatoes that are getting ripe. Spring-like weather came so early this year that I was able to set the plants out much sooner than I typically do. They took off and grew, started blooming, and now the fruit is beginning to ripen. I have eagerly watched for the first ripe tomato, and knew it would be ready early this week.

On Sunday I went out to gather some Basil leaves for a salad, and glanced at my tomatoes nearby. I was truly horrified at what I saw.


Something had beat me to my first tomato, and there was a huge bite gone out of it. I was so disappointed.

But what had done this terrible thing? Could it be the little squirrels or rabbits that play in my yard? Or maybe one of the pretty birds that nest in the backyard trees? I hadn't seen a thing, so I don't know who the guilty party could be, but I didn't want this to happen again.


If a bird was the tomato muncher, maybe a rubber snake will scare him away.


And maybe two rubber snakes will even be better.


If the tomato-eater happens to be a squirrel and or a rabbit, I have geared up for them by sprinkling red peppers around the area to keep them out. I've been told that this needs to be reapplied every few days to be effective.

I'm not sure if either of these methods will work since I don't really know what enemy I am fighting, but I'll try these and see what happens. If any of you gardeners have other ideas, send them my way, please, I can't let the phantom devour my tomatoes.

11 comments:

  1. Hope you can keep your tomato phantom away!

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  2. I sure know that's disappointing! I've walked outside to see a squirrel sitting on top of the fence eating my tomato and the worst part, he doesn't eat all of it! Grrrrr! Best of luck to you:@)

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  3. Squirrels are a likely culprit, as are birds. That's why I didn't get to eat even one fig from my tree last year. Well, that, and the drought. Even the birds and squirrels were thirsty...

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  4. I had a beauty shop for years and my little ladies used to have me save all of the hair I had cut for the week and they would take it home and sprinkle it around their gardens. Apparently it worked because they stopped having the problem. Another thing I can tell you is... My 1 & 1/2year old yellow lab eats every fig, scuppernong, pear, cherry and tomato that she can get to.
    Whatever your phantom turns out to be, I hope you can stop it! Good Luck!
    Rita-Greer,SC

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  5. Well, just be grateful it wasn't tomato horn worms like I had a few years back. I came out to a totally stripped plant....all that they left me was the stems...leaves and all GONE! Those things are vicious! Good luck! I never tried the rubber snake thing but knowing me I'd forget I put them out there and go out and see them and have a heart attack! LOL!

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  6. I hope you figure out your tomato problems! I am not a gardener.....I just buy at the farmers market!

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  7. I hope the snakes and/or the crushed pepper works! We have rabbits in the neighborhood and they eat so much!!

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  8. Dog gone it! I hope those non-harmful methods keep the little muncher(s).

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  9. I had a woodpecker who would attack my tomatoes! Between that woodpecker and my black lab who would pull them off the vine, I gave up.

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  10. Deer eat them too. I had deer eat almost every tomato in July when they were almost ripe. My crop came back very fruitfully in October and we couldn't eat them fast enough before the frost.

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  11. I've read that hanging bags of grated Irish Spring around your vegetable garden keeps animals away.

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