Opinions sought on using clear plastic cover for tomato cages

Hi, I am new to gardening. I just ordered some tomato plants. I plan to grow the plants in pots. I plan to use concrete reinforced wire mesh for the cages. But I have squirrels mice and birds who will be interested in these plants. The squirrels ate my spring bulbs! So I was thinking about covering the mesh cages with clear plastic painter's drop cloths. I don't want to buy the tomato teepee. What do you think about my plans? Thanks in advance for your feedback. :)
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On Fri, 16 Apr 2004 16:51:08 GMT, "Newbee"

I think that will cook your plants in hot weather.
I've never had squirrels or mice or birds bother my tomatoes in any way.
Maybe I've just been lucky: but I've grown tomatoes for the better part of 30 years, in four locations, and no critters have ever bothered them.
BTW, tomatoes are LARGE plants - many varieties are anyway. I hope the pots are very large, very large indeed.
The last time I tried growing a full-size tomato plant in a pot, we eventually had to transplant it into a 22-gallon Rubbermaid storage container and even that wasn't really large enough.
Pat
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snipped-for-privacy@spam.com writes:

I wouldn't do it! I use large, clear, commercial garbage bags over my large tomato cages as protection from really chilly nights but must be diligent about getting them off before the sun has been up very long. Properly put on, they would cause the tomato plants damage.
*And* plastic will not keep the critters out if they want to get in. Plastic seems to be a squirrel's appetizer around here. There should be no problem with mice, the birds shouldn't bother them if there is water around, and the squirrels will get them anyway if they want them. There has often been an overabundance of squirrels in my yard and only once has a tomato ever been taken of the many thousands of tomatoes grown here. The young apricots this year are another matter . . . finally figured out why there are very few apricots on my tree!
If you really want some critter protection, you can always make over-cages of the smaller mesh chicken wire, but you'd probably being going to unnecessary trouble and expense.
Glenna
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I would not recommend plastic. We have found that when squirrels eat tomatoes it is for the moisture content. We keep a bird/squirrel waterer going and have had no problems since.
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