When I set young tomatoes plants out birds clip them off at the ground. Is there anything I can do to stop this? I've tried pie pans and blow-up snakes.
By Timmy Miller from Morgantown, KY
You could put cages around them and cover the cages with something like nylon net. Around here we use frost cloth to keep (obviously) frost off, but it's light weight enough to leave on until the weather is really hot and by then the plants should be big enough to not interest the birds. (05/06/2009)
If this is happening with small plants, especially if the plant that is snipped off is still lying near the plant, the culprit might be a cutworm rather than birds. To deter cutworms, wrap a piece of light aluminum foil around the stem at the ground level. Or even slightly below the ground.
Harlean from AR (05/08/2009)
You could open both ends of a small can, like a tuna can and plant the tomatoes in the middle. (05/10/2009)
I save all of my toilet paper and paper towel tubes. Whenever I plant tomatoes, peppers, leeks, etc. I slip a tube over each plant and gently push it into the soil. They can be cut to any length needed. It keeps birds and cutworms from severing the stems. They will disintegrate after a while and can be left there to rot or thrown into the compost pile. The plant is usually mature enough by the time they break down that nothing else bothers the stem. This is a wonderful way to recycle, costs nothing, and works great. (05/14/2009)
Someone once suggested that making "streamers" out of cassette tapes you no longer want will help keep the birds away. We tried it, and it actually was a good idea. We pulled out long strips of the tape, and tied 10 or 12 of them together. And in this way made lots of bunches.
If you tie them to the wire tomato cage, the wind blows them, and they flutter and move almost continuously. The tape sort of reflects the sunlight as well. So the birds look elsewhere for tomatoes to eat.
You can also put them onto dowel rods with a thumb tack, and place the dowel rod into the ground close to your plants. Get creative. (05/14/2009)
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