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Christmas Balls to Keep Birds Off Tomatoes

Hang red Christmas balls from your tomato plants to confuse hungry birds. Ill.:, &, montage:

Do you have a problem with birds pecking at your tomatoes just when they reach maturity, making just enough holes to make the fruits unappetizing? If so, try the following tip.

While the tomatoes are still green, attach red Christmas balls to the tomato cage, trellis or even the plant itself. Curious birds will soon show up (the color red, usually the sign of a ripe fruit, will attract them like a magnet!) and try to peck at the bright red “berries,” but will quickly discover that they actually offer nothing of interest.

When the real fruits finally do turn red, the birds, which have a long memory when it comes to food sources, will ignore them, convinced the fruits of that particular plant are completely inedible. 

Simple, but efficient!

Adapted from a suggestion by Paula Wright.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

4 comments on “Christmas Balls to Keep Birds Off Tomatoes

  1. Pingback: Stupid Birds! – Grandma's Prairie Garden

  2. Very interesting – I’ve never heard of trying this, but it seems to make sense like the red painted stones put in the strawberry patch.

  3. It would seem that they would return when they can smell the ripe tomatoes, and could distinguish the real from the fake. Of course, for some, it doesn’t take much, especially if there is something else to eat. That is why mulberries were planted on the perimeters of apricot and prune orchards a long time ago. Flash tape kept birds out of the orchards for a while, and the mulberries kept them happy to stay out.

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