How many times have you rushed outside in the morning to check on a particularly exciting development—like a tomato plant just about bursting with ripe fruit, or a flower just about to open its lovely petals—and found all of it eaten? It’s incredibly frustrating.
If squirrels are the problem, try using red pepper flakes all around the soil. Squirrels absolutely hate spicy pepper, and sprinkling the flakes all around a freshly planted bulb or an especially squirrel-prone plant will keep them away. (Here are 8 ways to keep the squirrels away from your bird feeder.)
If your issue is with birds eating those delicious tomatoes, follow Mitschke’s genius suggestion. “One challenge I’m faced with each spring and summer season is how to keep birds from completely destroying my tomato crop,” he notes, “like my prized Cherokee Purple.”
So how does he protect his plants from a hungry flock? “I’ve started resorting to my own version of “fruit bagging” which is an organic technique I’ve seen used in orchards to protect fruit such as apples and mangoes. Even better, the nylon mesh bags with built-in drawstrings like I use are very affordable, water-resistant, and can be reused for multiple years—plus, you can order them in green to match the foliage. In my garden, this has been a much better solution than wrapping bird netting over entire plants, which I find to be a total pain and an ugly mess.”
Related: 9 Veggies That Can Survive The Winter—And How To Protect Them From Snow