Friday, July 24, 2009

Squirrel-Proof the Tomatoes

Has this happened to you?

You've waited for months for the gorgeous globes of green tomatoes to slowly, but surely, turn a beautiful fire engine red. Daily, your mouth waters at the thought of a ripe, juicy, full of flavor tomato that you have raised from seed. The anticipation, it kills you because you are not an exceptionally patient person to begin with (or perhaps this is me).

Then, one day, you pop out to the garden to check on the ripening progress only to find A STUPID SQUIRREL has meddled (bitten, stolen, whatever) with YOUR tomato. Or maybe it was a bird. It doesn't matter what it was! Your tomato is RUINED! All those days...for nothing.

It's a jungle out there, I tell you.

However, I read somewhere about a great protection system for your tomatoes was using old strawberry, blueberry, or grape tomato plastic clamshells to enclose them. This way air and light can still get in, but critters won't be able to take a bite. Brilliant! Wish it was my idea.

Also, since clamshell packages generally aren't recyclable, this is a great way for them not to go to waste. You can probably even reuse for a few years before they are too brittle.

Downside? They aren't entirely attractive. At all. But I can tolerate a little ugliness in the garden if it'll protect my precious tomatoes.

Here's what you need to do:

Cut a hole on one side of the clamshell container at the edge where it meets the lid. It doesn't really matter what side as long as it's not the hinged one. I did the side parallel to the hinged side:

Then, place the stem of your tomato cluster in the hole you cute & snap the lid close. Ta-da!

I told you it wasn't cute.


  1. I've never heard of this but will be trying it out this year. Last year the squirrels and rabbits ate almost all of my tomatoes! Thanks for sharing this tip.

  2. That is seriously brilliant! Thanks for the tip.

  3. Brilliant. I'll start collecting the containers now