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Christmas Balls to Keep Birds Off Tomatoes

Hang red Christmas balls from your tomato plants to confuse hungry birds. Ill.: pluspng.com, http://www.freeiconspng.com & http://www.tomatodirt.com, montage: laidbackgardener.blog

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.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

4 comments on “Christmas Balls to Keep Birds Off Tomatoes

  1. 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.

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

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