What can I do to keep the birds from eating my tomatoes and garden veggies?
You can cover your plants with netting.
Birds eat all fruits from my trees, but never bother with my tomatoes or vegetables. Perhaps you will be as lucky.
While out in NAPA valley several years ago, I notice the vineyards had sparkling strips hanging above the vines. Upon questioning, I discovered it was halographic tape to scare the birds. I've been using it every since and it seems to do the job. It's sometimes hard to find, but I've seen it at Lowes and ordered it on line.
wow...holographic tape...that's kinda cool. :) I bet it freaks those birds out!
Grandpop, do you think that package ribbon would work. They sell the iridescent stuff many places for less than what I just found online. I only looked briefly. Seems the bird stuff is sturdy enough to clank and make a noise. Does yours do that? Also, do you have mocking birds? Those little buggers are Stubborn!
Try hanging some old CDs around the garden. Also, go to the Dollar store and find some shimmery ribbon. They also have twirly thingys that keep things moving in the garden. Nancy
I've hung old CDs to make flashing "scarecrows" with mixed success. It kept most birds away except starlings. In a bird battle I'd give starlings and mocking birds even odds. ;^)
Don't know about package ribbons, but mocking birds are what I'm mainly detering.
I found bird netting at Lowes. What's the best way to go about covering the garden so that I can easily remove it each time I need to get into the garden for harvesting?
Are you sure it's birds? You might go out at dusk with a flashlight and make sure it isn't rodents. Otherwise, just drape the netting over the tops of the plants.
Last year I lost some tomatoes to birds, but they leave the leafier vegetables alone. At first I was concerned, but then so many tomatoes came in that the bird damage portion was negligible. Acceptable losses.
This year I simply planted so much extra that I wouldn't care if I lost any to the birds. And you know what? They're not bothering any of the vegetables this year. At all.
What's different is: 1) I'm growing berries this year. They attack those instead. (And those need netting). 2) My neighbors are feeding the birds. 3) It's been raining a lot, providing many more insects. I welcome the birds to the garden -- they've been helping keep the pest population down.
So maybe the strategy is to give them something else to eat, and allow extra for any minor bird damage.
I've got to say, bird netting might prevent them from getting to the bugs, and bugs are worse. It's also a real pain to get in and out of the netting (having to deal with it with blueberries.) And its sad when the first critter gets tangled in the net and dies.
An alternative to a bird net for vegetables is a crop cover fabric. This only works for short vegetables, and if the bugs haven't laid eggs yet. It's easier to work with, and critters don't get tangled.