Planting – Belling the Tomatoes


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.


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.


  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!


  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.


  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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