Here, we discuss how to keep pest birds from eating your tomatoes. This article will be a great read if you’re dealing with such a problem.
Protecting Tomato Plants from Birds
Gardening is mostly an enjoyable experience but also challenging, especially when it has to do with pest activity.
For each of these pests trying to damage your garden, appropriate responses help limit or prevent further destruction. This article focuses on one of these pests; the bird.
Tomato Plant Pest Control
When it comes to the activity of birds in gardens, these unwelcome visitors prey on a wide range of insect pests like moths, stink bugs, earwigs, cabbage worms, white flies, aphids, cucumber beetles, grubs, and grasshoppers, amongst others.
While this activity is beneficial, birds can also cause damage to your tomato plants and fruits. This is a consequence of birds having unrestricted access to your garden.
To keep your tomato plants safe from bugs and birds, you’ll need to find ways to exclude these pests from your garden.
While that is true, the benefit of best control derived through the predation action of birds on other garden pests is lost. You’ll have to find alternative ways to combat these other garden pests to keep them in check.
In this article, the focus is mostly on bird exclusion.
How Can I Keep Birds From Damaging my Tomatoes?
To salvage your tomato plants from further damage, you’ll need proven preventive techniques that work.
Luckily there are lots of these preventive options as outlined below. Preventive strategies include bird netting, cages, and the early picking of tomato fruits.
Additional bird control strategies to consider include installing wind chimes around your garden, using reflector tapes, and placing bird feeders.
Having birdbaths around your garden can also prove helpful to your situation. Let’s further discuss each of these points as follows;
i. Bird Netting
Bird netting, when properly used, serves as a physical barrier that keeps birds from eating your tomatoes.
Here, all that’s needed is to have your net draped over your tomato plants. For this to be effective, you’ll need support like stakes built or installed around your tomato plants.
These help with proper covering and support of bird netting. When installed, bird netting tends to blend in with its surroundings. This scares off birds who don’t readily figure out there’s a barrier.
Most importantly, your tomato plants and fruits are free from bird activity.
Cages also act as barriers to keep birds at bay. Other benefits of a cage include the prevention of sprawling by plants like tomatoes.
Despite the benefits of the caging technique in keeping birds at bay, smaller bird species can get through cage openings.
Such situations mean your tomato fruits won’t be entirely safe. To prevent this, draping such cages with bird netting can offer double protection.
Your tomatoes get to grow without disruption from these birds.
iii. Early Picking of Tomato Fruits
Another way to keep birds at bay is by adopting a preventive technique.
This involves the early picking of tomato fruits. As long as tomato fruits fully develop, leaving them to ripen on the vine can become problematic with pests like birds.
Ripening off the fruit is one way to resolve this problem.
Fully matured tomato fruits are plucked off and allowed to ripen off the vine. The best time to do this is when the fruits begin to change color. The color starts to change from green to pinkish-red.
With fruits removed, birds have no incentive to be around your garden.
iv. Placing Wind Chimes at Strategic Spots
Wind chimes have a soothing effect on humans but tend to annoy birds.
Based on this reality, you might want to strategically place wind chimes around your garden to scare birds off. These simple scare devices constantly make chiming sounds when blown by the wind.
The effect is a garden with less bird presence and activity.
You can combine wind chimes with any of the techniques mentioned here. Have these chimes located close to your tomato plants for best results?
v. Use of Reflector Tapes
Reflector tapes are simple scare devices that you can install in your garden to drive birds away.
As the name implies, these are shiny reflectors that create an illusion of danger to birds through the constant movement of light being reflected from the tape.
Apart from reflector tapes, aluminum pans and CDs also serve similar purposes. Having these installed within your garden reduces the chances of birds causing damage to your tomato plants.
vi. Placement of Bird Feeders
As a bird lover, you might be interested in more suitable alternatives to bird damage.
An excellent way to do this is by providing an alternative to these birds. Such an option includes introducing bird feeders close to your garden to provide a ready food source they can feast on.
With such provision, there’s less incentive for birds to cause damage to your tomato plants and fruits. Of course, you’ll need to replenish the supply of birds seen in the feeder constantly.
This strategy becomes even more effective when you provide or plant sacrificial plants for birds to snack on.
vii. Birdbaths around the Garden
It would help if you also appreciated the good done by birds in your garden.
As mentioned earlier, these creatures also feed on insects and other garden pests. They only snack on your tomato fruits due to their juiciness and moisture. With a birdbath, an alternative is provided for birds.
Due to alternative moisture sources, there’s likely to be a drop in the damage to tomatoes. This wouldn’t be a problem for bird lovers to try out.
The methods and tips above prove crucial to keeping birds from eating tomatoes. These are harmless ways to fix the problem.