My roommate seems rather concerned with the possibility of birds destroying
my developing crop of tomatoes. Only the cherries have started to ripen at
this time but he keeps warning me that birds will peck the fruit to steal
the juices within.
First off, is this a REAL possiblity/problem or just some old wives tale
he's blown out of proportion.
Second if it IS a real issue what can I do to combat this? He suggests
placing shiny pie-pans around the garden on sticks to scare the birds off. I
vaguely remember someone mentioning having a birdbath near (but not in) your
garden can help with this, as it provides an alternative and easier to
obtain source of water.
I am amusedly concerned. Is this something I really need to worry over, or
just another of his "bird brained" ideas?
Eastern Panhandle WV
USDA Zone 6B
Birds may peck at the fruit to obtain water. Set up a bird bath and keep it
filled so that the birds obtain their water from it.
Canada Zone 5a
United States Zone 3a
Near Ottawa, Ontario
It is true that birds will sometimes use a tomato as a source of water--this
can occur in dry times when natural water is scarce and the extent of the bird
population may play a part. it is by no means a normal happening and does not
often occur. but it is a possibility. A bird bath would be a good idea as for
the rest i would not bother unless actual bird attacks do occur..This can vary
widely from area to area so your local situation may differ from other parts of
your state or the nation.
My initial reaction is that he is mis-informed or incompletely informed.
I have dozens of tomato plants, fruits in all colors, and have never,
repeat, never, had a bird peck in a single one of them. However, the bird
bath beside the garden always has water and the bird feeder in the middle
of the garden usually has food every day. Perhaps my garden has been
exceptionally lucky, but that's my experience. I would suspect if one
were a bird, it'd be easier (and safer) to get a drink from an open
container of water than from a tomato.
The cherries, on the other hand, are another matter. They are eating the
cherries, not getting liquid. Also, those cherries are sitting there,
shining in the sun, asking to be eaten. <g>
email@example.com (Glenna Rose) wrote in message
Birds will indeed peck at your tomatoes to get at the juice in dry
weather. I have caught them in the act. This has always been a
problem in my garden. I tried several different so called
"repellents" such as fake predators, AOL CD's and mylar film. The
only thing that has helped at all is to leave the birds some water in
a couple of locations around the yard. You would think that since my
neighbor has multiple bird feeders and birdbaths, they would just
drink there, but that just ain't the case.
Zone 6B - Tennessee
I can't grow tomatoes because the birds hollow them out before the
fruit even colours. It probably depends on your location (i.e., the
species of birds you have) whether it will be a problem for you.
Here (Australia) the bandit is a currawong--a bird very similar to
a crow, and just as crafty, inquisitive, and clever. They also pick
off strawberries. One year a lot of cherry tomato plants came up in
an abandoned bed (after the plumbers had worked nearby to unblock a
main sewer!) and I was amazed to find those plants bore heavily yet
were ignored by these birds. Whether this can be generalised or not
to later years was not determined. The cherry tomatoes ripened on the
'vine' and were delicious.
I would be wasting my time stringing up CDs or anything like that.
These particular birds are not bird-brains! They are as intelligent as
John Savage (news reply email invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)
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