Monday, August 3, 2009

I May Owe the Squirrels an Apology

I am a bit confused. In the past, I thought it was squirrels that found my first tomatoes to ripen, took a few bites, then tossed them to the ground. The other day, I noticed a tomato had been bitten into, but not taken off yet. Then, I noticed a robin perched on the tomato cage, at the same level as the damage, wondering if I was going to notice it. I yelled at it, and some people down the block looked up to see what my problem was. I picked that tomato, and later cut off the damaged part and ate the rest. To think that I was thinking so poorly of the squirrels, and talking so sweetly to the birds!

Yesterday morning I noticed damage on one of the first tomatoes across the street, but I didn't pick it, because it wasn't ripe. Later in the evening, I noticed there was more eaten off of it. I decided to leave it, hoping the birds or whatever critters would keep eating this one, and leave the others alone.

Something took some bites off of my summer squash at the garden across the street, too.

I'm thinking this is from a bird, too. Have you experienced these kinds of damage on your produce? I try to put fresh water in my bird baths every day. I'll have to get one for across the street. I wonder if that would help.

The squirrels aren't totally innocent, though. They are still taking sunflowers off the plants while they are still pretty, and knocking down plants in the process. I came across this poor flower in our front yard a few days ago. It wasn't ever claimed, so I broke it up and put it in a bird feeder the squirrels use. I just looked out the door, and there was a blue jay at the feeder, but it was gone when I came back with my camera.

I have a friend who is planning on giving me some strawberry plants to plant across the street. I'll need to decide if the strawberries are for the critters or us. Maybe we can cover some with netting, but leave some uncovered.


  1. It's the chipmunks here that do most of the damage but the birds do take bites from the strawberries. Good luck.

  2. Varmints must be why people let them ripen on the window sill.

  3. I am having the same problem with my ripe tomatoes. I was blaming the squirrels too. Now I wonder.

  4. I used to go out at night and chase the racoons away from our garden.

    One night I came face to face with a big fat skunk.

    Since then, I have decided that there's enough there, that I don't mind sharing a bit with my little furry neighbors.

  5. Those dang birds ate my first ripe blueberry too. I guess that will teach me to think I don't need netting. I don't mind sharing sometimes but those critters don't seem to think they need to share with me!

    My tomatoes are all green but covered in pea sized fruits. I sure hope it warms up before fall so they mature before fall. My apple seems to think it's already fall.

  6. Usually the birds are always pecking at vegetables, I see them in the early morning. I now pick the tomatoes when color just starts to show up and place it in my windowsill to ripen.

  7. Your poor tomatoes!
    My strawberries, even covered with netting, got attacked. So, maybe you will have better luck than I did.
    I just figured, what the heck, I can buy strawberries, & I gave up the fight.
    Maybe next year I will try something else for covering.
    These pests add to the fun, don't they?

  8. The birds have pretty much left our food alone, even the loaded blueberry bushes have been ignored by them. I have several feeders and baths around.
    I have noticed the squirrels chewing apples in the tree, two little bites and they drop it on the ground.

  9. Our neighborhood is still new enough that the trees are small, and therefore, no squirrels! But as much as I enjoy the bright yellow goldfinches, I do get mad when they tear the petals off my sunflowers just to get to the seeds! There's no reason for them to do that either, as I provide them with plenty of other seeds in my feeders! Did you find any plant bargains?

  10. So what is your dog's name? He looks like my Tucker! Love your garden and those dang robins...eating your tomatoes? Bad birds.

  11. Currently we have a raccoon that is eating tomatoes off of the vine.

  12. Its quite a mess when these animals and birds messes up your garden.

    In my case, I usually place friuts (leftovers) far from the warzone as to discourage squirrels.

    And also wrap up the fruits with paper or plastic bag.

  13. Very funny post for your readers, maybe not so funny to you. Even if the big furry rats didn't do this damage, you can be sure they've done something you haven't even discovered yet. Once you have a squirrel in your attic, it's hard to ever be friends with them again.

  14. Sue~~ Those little stinkers! They must think that our plants are just for them. I know netting works on the flying culprits. I hope you can come up with something amicable. You deserve the veggies you've worked so hard for.


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