Bring them inside!
Is there any disappointment greater than finding the tomato for which you waited and worked and watched HALF EATEN BY A BIRD!?!?
This sad situation has deflated me more than once. Solutions I have heard about include creating physical barriers like nets, hanging fake snakes, and tieing old CDs near to the plant to blind the birds with sunlight.
The net sounds like a lot of trouble, and I doubt the effectiveness of fakery. The grackels around here seem smart and plentiful. I heard about my solution on the Neil Sperry radio show. Am I allowed to love the Dirt Doctor and still respect Neil???
He suggests bringing the tomatoes in just as they start to turn and letting them ripen on a sunny windowsill.
So far this has worked out great. They seem to turn red in a day or two. These photos are from a week or so ago and I have around 40 newer ones out there now, mainly from a single “Husky Red Cherry” tomato plant. I have been eating a cherry tomato and cucumber salad every day.
I imagine they do not taste quite as nice as straight off the vine, but if I don’t wish to share with the birds this is the best I’ve figured out thus far.
Does anyone else have suggestions for keeping birds out?