My tomatoes are loaded with green fruit. They are just beginning to show deepening yellow, orange and red tones. Unfortunately, the squirrels have noticed too, and to my great “phrustration” I have realized I waited too long to thwart their voracious appetites for fresh tomatoes. I am annoyed with myself for I was prepared in advance for this problem. This past Christmas season I remembered the gardens of summer and bought what I had read was a preventative for hungry squirrels stealing tomatoes…cherry red Christmas Ornaments. I bought three packs at the Dollar Store and set them aside ready to be put to good use.
The trick: Before your tomatoes set fruit place “Decoy” tomatoes on the branches. The squirrels supposedly will try to bite them and learn they are inedible. It’s a great idea, but I blew it…I waited to put the balls in place until the fruit was already showing red color and unfortunately had already been sampled several times.
I used up all my pungeant spices and baited the Christmas balls with a peanut butter glue coated with garlic, salt, onion powder and Adobo spice. For good measure I pounded a clove of garlic with a hammer and strew it in between all the tomato plants.
I hung my decoys near the lushest and best looking tomatoes. The variety above are Amish Paste. The next day to my dismay I found one of the decoys on the grass, torn off the plant and tossed around as if the squirrels had a late night soccer game.
Adding insult to injury, later in the day…
I spied this cheeky fellow on my lavender adirondack, eating one of my cherry tomatoes with another one waiting at his feet.
Perhaps my ploy might have worked if I had “followed the directions,” something I’ve always had a hard time doing, and placed the decoy tomatoes on the branches of the plants a few weeks earlier in the season.