Planting – Belling the Tomatoes

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My tomatoes are beginning to set fruit and ripen. This is prime time for squirrels and other wildlife to begin taking a bite here and there, ruining countless tomatoes over the course of the summer. My neighbor, a terrific gardener, told me the squirrels do this to quench their thirst when the weather becomes dry. I have a bird bath in the center of my Square Foot Gardens this year. Hopefully, the squirrels will use this rather than nibble at my beautiful, red tomatoes.

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In case this doesn’t satisfy them, I have “belled” the plants with large Christmas bells I set aside in December. I have red ones to mimic the red fruit, a few greens to resemble the unripe tomatoes. If biting into a hard piece of metal doesn’t deter the squirrels perhaps the “ting-a-ling-ling” will scare them away. If none of this works I will cut a few pieces of fresh garlic and push it inside the bell.

I’ve tried this same idea with plain Christmas balls in the past, and had a bit of success mixed with a few half-eaten casualties. I am hoping the addition of what I think might be a “scary” sound to a squirrel will work even better this year.

9 thoughts on “Planting – Belling the Tomatoes

    1. Timelesslady

      I have some large silver bells that I am soon going to paint red and place on the plants before they set fruit. I think the squirrels are adorable too, but I lose way too many tomatoes. It’s a battle.

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  1. Pingback: Planting – A Timely Repost/Belling the Tomatoes…Again – MINDING MY P'S WITH Q

  2. I was just wondering why you would be using garlic…do squirrels dislike the smell?
    I too have some tomato plants growing (my first time) so any advice would be very much appreciated 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timelesslady

      I think most animals have a better sense of smell than we do, and I’ve read in many gardening books that garlic is a repellent. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Squirrels get in my garlic patch and dig up my garlic. For my tomatoes I tie small tin disposable burner covers on my tomato steaks last year I planted 10 tomato plants got 200 tomato’s off them never lost 1 tomato how do I know I counted them all the time and kept track of how many I picked.

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  4. Anonymous

    Squirrel can’t stand black or red cracked pepper just sprinkle it on dirt around your tomato no more squirrels it works for mice and rats too.

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