Monday, May 26, 2014

Selfishly Guarding Our Tomatoes, Tomatillos and Eggplants

Tomato cages
We grow our tomatoes, tomatillos and eggplant in containers.  They grow very well.  We have some brandywine red, yellow pear, black krim and principe borghese tomatoes.  We have green and purple tomatillos.  We have black beauty eggplant.

Last year they grew very well.  The only problem is we never were able to eat anything but the yellow pear because every time we made note to pick a red colored tomato the next day, the next day the birds had already pinched them.  It was especially infuriating because the birds didn't eat the entire tomatoes, they just pecked the back of each and every just perfectly ripened red tomato.

This year, we created these tomato cabinets, so to speak.  They are cages with doors in the front and bird netting stapled around the exposed sides and bottom corners to prevent access.  We fastened eye hooks in the mortar of the brick fence at the outside ends and the center of the cages with epoxy and let it set.  We then ran cable through the hooks over the back inside of the frames to hold the cabinets to the block.  We have eye hooks in the door frames for opening and will make a few modifications to ensure they don't swing open erroneously.

Overall, it really "organized" the look of the tomatoes.  Barring any clever birds learning how to open doors, we should be able to enjoy our unmolested red tomatoes for salad, sandwiches, slicing and sun drying.