Tomatoes Versus Birds

Quite a few critters call our yard home.

A deer family nestles down for shelter in the tall back grass in winter and grazes in summer. Mama deer gave birth to her fawn just a few weekes ago under our azaleas. All of them like to snack on our cherry trees.

In our front yard, rabbits nosh our aronia bushes. If we’d realized that aronia was such a bunny salad bar, we would had planted something else, but we didn’t. So we upend storage containers over the aronia every evening, and remove them every morning. (The plants would be nibbled bare without this protection.)

Many years ago, when we tried tomato plants in our back yard, a ground hog took one bite of nearly each tomato ripening on the vines!

So far, this summer, our lettuce, radishes, strawberries, and other seedlings have been largely unmolested. I think the table height of the beds foils the rabbits. I’m hopeful that their position on our front deck, directly against the house, discourages the deer. But I’m concerned about birds.

Will they eat our strawberries? We lost two berries to birds yesterday.

Will they peck our tomatoes? Our plants are not yet bearing, but I trust they will in time.

So when I saw that Gary Pilachik at the Rusted Garden had a video on exactly this topic, I watched it.

From him, I learned that birds primarily eat your berries, because they are hungry. So we decided to set up a bird feeder again. We’d tried exactly that in early May only to discover that the plastic on ours had degraded so badly that it cracked when we washed it. It was very old. Now we have a new one en route to us. I’ll show you a photo, once it arrives and we get it set up.

Thirst is what causes birds to peck your tomatoes. So we’ve created a birdbath, with the idea that our winged visitors will drink from its fountain rather than from our fruits.

Cash remains scarce at Casa Ney-Grimm, so we needed something inexpensive. Thus, the plant saucer plus solar fountain.

Here’s the Rusted Garden video, if you’d like to hear what Mr. Pilachik has to say. I hope he is right that the birds thusly attracted eat insect pests while they are in the neighborhood!

For more about my garden, see:
Container Gardening at Casa Ney-Grimm
First Strawberries!