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HELP! Mocking birds want to eat my ripe tomatoes (again)...

Chasdev

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Living in the land of cardboard tasting tomatoes (central Texas) I dream of tasting real tomato flavor again.
In salads, in a BLT (MMMM...BLT...) when and wherever I feel like it.
But every time I manage to keep tomato plants out of the stomachs of insects, the mocking birds (which I also love) ruin my crop.
This year so far, the insects are not visiting but we do have mocking birds all over the place, so once my tomatoes turn red how can I keep them safe?
I saw a show on Japanese TV where they enclose each fruit in a bag of some sort, it that the trick I wonder?
Anybody have the cure?
 

indaswamp

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The cure is to put out a water bath. Birds don't want your tomatoes, they want the water inside your tomatoes...also, with a water bath, other birds will frequent your garden area and they will pick off caterpillars off your plants too....
 

Chasdev

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Got two very nice ones 20 feet away and change the water in each twice a day.
Fingers crossed this year I get to taste tomato.
 

indaswamp

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Got two very nice ones 20 feet away and change the water in each twice a day.
Fingers crossed this year I get to taste tomato.
I'd move them closer if you can...on the ends of the rows....at least until the birds know the bath is there..
 

poacherjoe

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When the tomato's start to turn color I just wrap a small net around the cage from the ground up to about 2 feet. I have a big bird problem so I have lot's of netting material on hand. After the plants start producing a lot I remove the netting because I can handle a few bird strikes. It's that first tomato that everyone is watching and waiting to ripen that seems to be targeted the most.
 

mcokevin

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Well hey, at least your smoker didn’t go out overnight :emoji_laughing::emoji_wink:
 

forktender

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I hate those noisy bastards.
.22 CB caps and this is how I roll.
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And this stuff.
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pineywoods

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I'll second the bird netting. You can use PVC as hoops or you can use wood. If using PVC you can use a short piece of rebar driven into the ground to hold the bottom of the PVC in place. Another way that I think is better is to use a piece of metal conduit cut in half and driven down 3-4' then slip the PVC inside the conduit and put a scree or bolt in to hold it. If you take a piece of PVC to the electrical section you should be able to find the correct size of conduit so it fits pretty snug either inside the metal or over it I personally like the PVC to slip inside. In the link that has the picture above the PVC probably is just fastened with bolts through the wood or with electrical clamps screwed into the lumber. If you try to drill PVC when bent like that be very careful a lot of the time it will shatter the PVC. You can fasten the netting numerous ways but an easy way is with PVC snap clamps.
Tractor Supply stores usually have a pretty good selection of bird netting or mail order it.
Being in Texas you could consider using a hoop system like I described and some shade cloth to maybe keep things from burning up as fast
 

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