Hello to the group .My question /comment is.For the first few weeks I
had many large vine ripened delicious tomatoes from different varieties
But now I believe the mockingbirds are pecking them just as they start
to turn and also on the very bottom there is a large discolored area
that is bad, Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. hlb SW
Bird netting or hexagonal "chicken" (or the smaller mesh "bittie") wire
cage for the birds. If you use netting, be sure to get the plastic coated kind.
Mockingbirds and bluejays will tear through the textile-only kinds and, in the
south, sunlight will destroy the textile in short order. Ask me how I know.
Regardless of whether you use a net or a wire cage, it must extend to the
ground to be effective against mockingbirds or jays. The wire cage has the
advantage because it is self supporting, longer lived, and may be sized so as to
be handled by one person.
Another alternative that is less effective against mockingbirds but that
may be better suited to a large area is to stretch closely spaced water-white
("clear") monofilament fishing line between supports. Of course, you'll have to
leave headroom for access but the closer the stuff is to the ground, the more
effective it'll be. Outermost rows will remain at risk.
If the mushy place is blossom end rot, I suggest that you apply gypsum to
add calcium without raising pH. Here are three links that may help your
The problem at the bottom is blossom end rot. This is a calcium deficiency
brought on by calcium shortage in the soil and/or irregular watering, the
latter is common. Not much you can do about the first now unless you want
to try foliar sprays of soluble calcium salts. The second is up to you to
water regularly taking into account the heat and wind and adjusting the
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