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Francis Barnswallow
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Do squirrels eat green tomatoes?

I know squirrels like to hang around the garden area because everytime I'm out there they all start barking at me. Pretty annoying IMO. But since my fall tomatoes finally starting appearing, I'm noticing little bite marks on the cue ball sized green tomatoes.

Like last year around this time I had a decent tomato harvest but lost a few tomatoes thanks to something munching on them. I see needle like punctures on the tomatoes as well......and the leaf miners are back.

So, do squirrels (or any other critters besides caterpillars) eat green tomatoes?

DeborahL
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They'll take a bite or two and run off. I've seen them take red tomatoes with them.
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Francis Barnswallow
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DeborahL wrote:They'll take a bite or two and run off. I've seen them take red tomatoes with them.
Were those red tomatoes some sort of cherry tomatoes, or a larger tomato?

DeborahL
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Regular.
God must think highly of animals - He created them before creating us !

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bg
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I have had some small birds get to my tomatoes this year. They've ruined many green tomatoes that were getting big, unfortunately. I don't like losing my fruits to them! I was losing peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries.

So I caged my entire garden to keep them and the squirrels out. I haven't lost one, since putting a mesh over my cage fencing to keep out the smaller birds. I am happier now, that I did this.

My tomatoes used to look like a squirrel could have gotten it, though I only ever saw the birds sneak in (before the mesh over my fencing) to do get their food on. >.> They'd target a few at a time too... not just one.

Anyway, that's just what happened to my garden during this year's summer.

DeborahL
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How high is the mesh roof? Does it cause your tomatoes to bend at the top?
Great idea !
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Bobberman
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Buy a can of peanuts and scatter them through the garden. That will solve your problem!
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bg
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DeborahL wrote:How high is the mesh roof? Does it cause your tomatoes to bend at the top?
Great idea !
Well, I made it about 4 feet tall, though I'd have liked to make it much taller. I have tried to keep them trimmed to that height but that didn't really work out lol! They actually grew through the fencing, some of the branches did bend a bit but it just wouldn't stop growing through the 'roof'.

The fencing actually helped to support the plants a lot, at least below. Above, they did grow another few feet and eventually started to bend a bit toward the edge. I just kept the growth cut to just above the 'roof' after that.

I do have a few fence posts set underneath to support the roof, and tie strings to support the plants as well. That has worked out nice for me, since I do not have a whole lot of room.

Also, right now I cut down a couple of the tomato plants that needed to, but I have a 4 foot tall cherry tomato plant growing, and two beefmaster seedlings that are starting to get taller than 1 1/2 feet now.

Here's a pic of what it looked like earlier this year:
[url=https://s799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/AoNoYuurei/garden/?action=view&current=garden-6-13-2011.jpg][img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/AoNoYuurei/garden/th_garden-6-13-2011.jpg[/img][/url]

As you can see in the image, I just put up the fencing and was hoping that would be enough, but small birds were able to just fly right through it. So I got some cheap plastic fencing that was smaller to cover the metal fencing.

[url=https://s799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/AoNoYuurei/garden/?action=view&current=pepperplants.png][img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/AoNoYuurei/garden/th_pepperplants.png[/img][/url]

There in this image you can see my pepper plants, and how much they've grown. Actually, they have grown out the back side of the fencing as well, and didn't seem to have any problems doing it. Even growing peppers lol.

Another plus, at least for me, is that I can put shade cloth on top or around the fencing, since the sun over here gets extremely hot and ends up nearly killing my plants. I'm hoping it doesn't get too cold this year either, or I may get some plastic to wrap the fencing to protect against the cold as well. I think the position of my garden helps with that as well, being 2 sides have walls to protect it from wind, and one side with a wall of bushes. My sister lost half of her basil, and other plants to a sudden drop in temp. I haven't lost anything to the cold yet, thankfully.

There are taller fence posts that could be used, or even a frame could be built to make something similar, but higher. I originally wanted it to be tall enough for me to stand in, but I don't have the money to do everything I want lol. Oh, another thing, yes I did build a door! haha, wouldn't do me any good with a huge gaping hole in the fence!

Anyway, this is what is working for me, bees, ladybugs, ants, aphids >.> had no issues traveling through the fencing or mesh in the least. But at least I no longer worry about the squirrels or birds ;3

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rainbowgardener
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Yes, squirrels love to come along and take a couple bites out of a tomato (green or red, they don't care). If they have a chance, they will take bites out of every one, without eating very much of any! GRR!

Since squirrels, birds, raccoons, woodchucks, etc love tomatoes, I grow mine in a cage of deer netting -- put stakes around the outer edge of the bed they are in, wrap it in deer netting, stake the netting down at the bottom and pull it together over the top.

But I never put netting or fence around my peppers. For some reason none of the critters seem to like my peppers (and they aren't even hot, I just grow bells). The only thing that bothers my peppers is slugs and a fence wouldn't stop them.
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GardenRN
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last year s squirrel took a red tomato, took 2 bites, and perched it right on top of the fence post where I'd see it. I know it wasn't....but it felt like he was tormenting me!
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john gault
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I feed birds and squirrels with bird seed, but I take much of the sunflower seed and plant them, super easy to grow and it keeps the squirrels away from my tomatoes. And very attractive to pollinators.

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Trevor
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Also watch out for chipmunks! I caught them eating the tomatoes several times this summer.

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lakngulf
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GardenRN wrote:last year s squirrel took a red tomato, took 2 bites, and perched it right on top of the fence post where I'd see it. I know it wasn't....but it felt like he was tormenting me!
Same thing happens around here. And they do get after green ones.
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Trevor wrote:Also watch out for chipmunks! I caught them eating the tomatoes several times this summer.
ALVIN!

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Francis Barnswallow
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Just noticed another big green tomato with chunks bitten out of it. I swear if it's not one thing attacking the garden, it's another.

The thing is is that I've never had a problem with squirrels before. :cry:

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TheWaterbug
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I have squirrels in spades, but they don't seem to bother my tomatoes. I put some bird netting around them to keep the peafowl away, and it would have no effect whatsoever against squirrels, but they seem to grow up and ripen just fine.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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GardenRN
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Lowe's or home depot, (one carries it the other doesn't) carries a product called critter ridder. It has worked great for me for keeping squirrels and cats out of the garden. Just sprinkle around the perimeter of your garden. I do it once, heavily, and that does it for the year for me. Its a blend of spicy peppers and garlic that burns their paws the same way something spicy things burn your mouth. I personally don't find it cruel, and usually they smell it and avoid it well before they get it on their paws anyways.

Just my 2 cents.
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TheWaterbug
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I tried a bunch of repellents, including dried blood and coyote urine, and the squirrels just mocked, taunted, and ridiculed me.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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Trevor
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
Trevor wrote:Also watch out for chipmunks! I caught them eating the tomatoes several times this summer.
ALVIN!
:lol: :lol:

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Since we have 6 cats no problems with tree rats!
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DeborahL
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This all sounds really good, BG !
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bg
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DeborahL wrote:This all sounds really good, BG !
Thanks. I finally got a little time to take some pictures of how it is right now for you.

Here's the a pic of my garden with the mesh around my fencing, since the fencing wasn't small enough, and finished:
[img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/AoNoYuurei/garden/garden.png[/img]


Here's how my tomatoes look when they grow through the mesh out of the top. Unfortunately, last night was quite cold and damaged a few of my plants, including the tops of the tomato plant. This is a cherry tomato type.
[img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/AoNoYuurei/garden/tomato-growth.png[/img]

Here you can see my Bhut Jolokia plant growing out of the back of my garden, through both the fence and mesh:
[img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/AoNoYuurei/garden/bhutjolokia-growth.png[/img]

And a close up of the Bhut Jolokia:
[img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/AoNoYuurei/garden/bhutjolokia.png[/img]

As you can see, there doesn't seem to be any issues with the growth of the plant through the fencing and mesh. I just got some plastic today, so that I can cover my garden and keep them from dying, I hope.

dustyrivergardens
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my chipmunks and ground squirrels eat a lot of lead around my place... : :twisted: :D

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Avonnow
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Fruit rats

Hey Francis, Sherry in Merritt Island. it may be fruit rats, they are super common in Florida and love veggies - I had two go arounds with them taking a bite her and there and finally caught them real early pre dawn hours and sadly had to kill them, they multiply fast and both times we had parents and babies. they hang out in palms and bird of paradise plants and love my garden, they ate just enough of each fruit/veggie to ruin it. Squirrels have eaten red/green ones at my other house, but that was when the dog was gone for a few days, when dog was around they never touched them. Hope you figure It out. :lol:
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