Friday, September 11, 2009

"Alas, poor Bob! I knew him, well."

It happens every time. Just before they reach the peak of ripeness, something makes a hole in each tomato, just big enough to make everyone say, "Ewww! I don't want to eat that!" and leaves the rest to rot. Anyone know what animal does this and how to stop them?


Blogger Bob Wingate said...

It's not an insect or worm, that would be a smaller round hole.

It's probably a rodent of some sort; around here (inner, older suburbs of K.C.) the usual suspects are rabbits and squirrels (maybe also chipmunks). Farther out in the newer suburbs close to the country, deer are a problem (I think they would leave so much damage that you'd know it).

Solution: Fence the garden in. Makes it tougher for you to get in and out, but planting tomatoes in the open is asking for trouble. Unless you do like a friend of mine and plant over 100 plants and let the numbers work for you.

This year I used chicken wire (a.k.a. poultry netting) about six feet up. It's an improvement over the plastic netting the rodents chewed through two years ago. I've kept the rabbits out, but the squirrels climb over the top. They've gotten a few, but overall my garden has produced well this year.

Next year I plan to build a stronger support structure and put chicken wire across the top and keep all the varmints out.

September 11, 2009 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Somehow I suspected birds, but I've never seen or heard of birds eating tomatoes. I put chicken wire over the top of my garden, but the tomato vines grew through it.

September 14, 2009 at 3:12 PM  

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