Keep Animals Away From Tomato Plants

I am so disappointed. I guess there is a critter in my yard and also in my neighbor's yard. I had 6 small/medium green tomatoes on my bush which I had been giving TLC and couldn't wait to have some nice organic tomatoes for lunch/dinner. However, after waking up Monday morning they were all gone and there was no sign of anything. It was as if they just weren't there! Would you know what critter did this? I have squirrels from the neighbor's trees and one of my neighbors has said she had a raccoon in her yard. This is sad that I cannot grow vegetables. Do you know of a solution?

- Jackie R.

Squirrels will feed on tomatoes. But, since it happened at night, it was more likely rats, opossums or raccoons. You can try putting out animal repellent (check your local nursery). That may help. Or, try bagging the fruit cluster in a brown paper lunch bag to hide the tomatoes.

The only way you can absolutely keep animals away from the tomatoes is to cage the plants.

Make a cylinder of chicken wire large enough to comfortably accommodate the plant. Cut a circular piece of chicken wire the same diameter as the cylinder and wire it to the top of the cylinder. To harvest tomatoes, pick up the cylinder off of the tomato bush, harvest, then replace the cage.

Dan Gill
Consumer Horticulture Specialist

6/5/2015 11:43:36 PM
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