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Birds eating tomatoes and peppers  RSS feed

 
Peter Luitjens
Posts: 13
Location: Mesa, AZ, United States
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Since my move to the Phoenix area growing food has been a challenge. My newest problem is that birds are eating all my bell peppers and tomatoes just before they ripen. I wouldn't mind sharing, but my garden is only a few hundred square feet in a small urban backyard, so there aren't too many of each of these plants. I just want a short term solution, as I will be moving from this property in the winter. I have tried foil but they just poop all over it. I have also put in a bird bath as I read that the birds are probably eating the fruit for it's water content. Any other thoughts?
 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 1787
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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forest garden trees woodworking
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Have you tried getting one of those big plastic owls? It never works long run, but it might buy you a few days for your fruit to ripen.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I've seen people with bird problems just throw bird netting over plants.
The birds will still get any fruit within beak reach though...
I wonder if those really lightweight net curtains would allow enough sun through?
There's generally loads of them at second hand shops.
They're really handy for all sorts of things such as protecting transplants/seeds from sun and birds

Peppers and tomatoes will ripen off the plant (in the dark even) if they've already started to 'colour up'.
They'll never have the flavour or nutrition of properly ripened fruit, but better than nothing...
Maybe if you went with netting of some sort, you could take off the fruit within the birds' reach
and ripen it somewhere safe, leaving the remainder on the netted plants to ripen 'properly'?
 
Peter Luitjens
Posts: 13
Location: Mesa, AZ, United States
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Thanks for the ideas. I will grab a fake owl and some netting and see if either work. I don't exactly have a shortage of Sun here in Phoenix so I'm not too worried about the netting shading things.
 
John Brownlee
Posts: 99
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I found that old cds hung in the garden work very well to keep birds out. Also we have birdbaths thruout so that if they are thirsty there is an option besides my tomatoes.
 
Galadriel Freden
Posts: 363
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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Besides a fake owl, maybe a couple fake snakes? I've heard even just old belts laid on the ground in the open look enough like snakes to deter birds.
 
Peter Luitjens
Posts: 13
Location: Mesa, AZ, United States
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Thanks John and Galadriel. I failed to mention in my original post that I do have a few CDs hanging. I tried them before I tried the foil. They worked for a few days until the birds got used to them.

Fake snakes sounds like a great idea. Now to figure out how to keep my three year old from hauling them off to his play room...
 
If you are using a wood chipper, you are doing it wrong. Even on this tiny ad:
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