The battle over my tomatoes rages on. For several nights I stayed up all night to identify the thief, which turned out to be a baby possum We trapped it and turned it over to a local wildlife rehibilitation clinic. They will keep it for 2 weeks, then release it with two other smaller possums they have. It was a good ending to the story, and I thought my tomatoes were safe, but this morning found more evidence of the fruit being eaten (still on the vine) and a couple cherry tomatoes (one ripe, one not) on the ground, semi-eaten. We never see squirrels in our yard, thanks to our outdoor cat, but she sleeps inside at night so doesn't go out until 7-8 a.m. I'm thinking the squirrels are coming in around dawn and leaving before she is let out. Any other thoughts on what could be eating the tomatoes?
If it is squirrels, I have that fox urine powder stuff that I've been shaking around the perimeter of the garden (didn't work to keep the possum out though!) so I might continue that if you think it might work. When the possum was still coming I put out pans of used cat litter, but he just knocked them over. Would I have better luck with that if it is just the squirrels now that are raiding the garden? Mouse traps were put out last night but not a one was sprung this morning.
I would like to have one week where nothing from the garden is eaten by any creature except me and my family. Any suggestions on how to identify the new thief? My sister said hang mylar balloons from the tomato plant stakes. Do deterrents like this (aluminum pie plates, old CDs, etc.) really work?
Thanks for any suggestions (short of covering the plants or installing an electric fence ... there is no room and no funds for either) on how to keep my garden varmit free.