Ask a Question forum→What ate my tomatoes???

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Houston, TX
KristaA
Jun 11, 2020 10:51 AM CST
I live in a suburd of Houston, TX and had a few romas turning red. I go out this morning to water and see chunks eaten out of all 3. They are in waist high beds so I don't think rabbits or dogs did it. Slugs? Birds? I'm not sure. Has anyone had this? And figured out how to prevent it?
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 11, 2020 11:22 AM CST
Welcome!

Birds or squirrels came for breakfast. From the pointy little marks, I'd guess birds. Around here, its blackbirds and robins.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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gardenfish
Jun 11, 2020 11:27 AM CST
Pink the pink, not red, and finish ripening them on the windowsill. I agree with Daisy, birds! Around here, it's cardinals.
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Mother Teresa
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jun 11, 2020 11:30 AM CST
Me!!!
I saw how good they looked and I was there and they were delicious!
No! Seriously!
I tried to grow Roma's last year for the first time. They got to the point of a few red fruits and then the squirrels came! Every time I went to bed, I found new damage in the morning. Finally I got up early, kept the lights off and found them munching. They got around 200 fruit, red, orange and every sized green one.

They consumed about 2/3 of each fruit.
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Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jun 11, 2020 11:31 AM (+)]
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Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Jun 11, 2020 3:43 PM CST
Mocking birds have been doing exactly that type damage to every one of my tomatoes here till this year. I have mocking birds all over the place, a good bird net over the tomatoes, and 16 oz water bottles with the ends painted red tied in the vines. I also pick every one that even begins to get a yellow or orange spot on it. So far those means have kept them out.

I have read that squirrels will not eat tomatoes if they have plenty water. Don't believe it. Where I lived previously there was a creek near my garden, and I often found squirrels eating my tomatoes.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jun 11, 2020 4:11 PM CST
I don't have Mockingbirds here in SE Michigan.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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gardenfish
Jun 11, 2020 4:14 PM CST
Really Bill?Kind of sad.Despite the fact that they eat out of the garden sometimes, I love them. Lovey dubby Arkansas state bird.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Jun 11, 2020 5:01 PM CST
Yup. None.
I figured that they would be here. In fact, I have very few of the 'Mimics' in my yard.
I heard a Catbird and saw him a half dozen times last year in the very back of my yard where my honeysuckle vine is thick. This year, nothing.
I saw a Brown Thrasher about a month ago in my back yard, same general area as the Catbird but I have not seen him again.
And not a single Mockingbird! I see a lot of local neighborhoods around my place, you know coming and going, and I have never seen one anywhere. And when they are around, they are extremely easy to find.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jun 11, 2020 5:02 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
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gardenfish
Jun 12, 2020 1:11 AM CST
I have catbirds, but I mostly hear them, not see them. They're very shy here. I have thrashers, such pretty birds. I saw two yesterday.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Jun 12, 2020 1:35 AM CST
The Mockingbird way back 70-80 years ago was a real southern US species. The first one ever registered on a Long Island Christmas Bird Count in Nassau County was in 1953.
Think about that.
There may have been summertime visitors before '53, but that first one on the count was something special. They grew in numbers through the 50's and 60's so by the early 70's, they were in every single neighborhood.
But as of the moment, they are rare in SE Michigan.
As a side note, in Florida, the three most common birds seen in neighborhoods are Mockingbirds, Mourning Doves and Loggerhead Shrikes! Talk about an oddity! Now I mentioned perching birds first. Another species just as common, just as numerous was the White Ibis! It has gotten even a little more weird, hasn't it?!
I mean Mockers, M Doves, Shrikes and W Ibis being the 4 most common backyard birds in SW Florida!! Incredible.
I have to stop. We have taken this thread off of the rails. I am sorry. But my leading culprit remains squirrels!!
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jun 12, 2020 1:38 AM (+)]
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Milpitas, CA
SoulReaver009
Jun 12, 2020 9:06 AM CST
Lol, Bill that was you?

Hmmm, pick them while they are pink? I will keep that in mind. Ty gardenfish.

I don't know why I thought tomatoes were safe from critters.

Hmm squirrels and birds? Here I go again... and don't trust the squirrels? Darn! Haha.

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