How To Keep Birds Off Tomato Plants

Last Updated on September 20, 2023 by Susan Levitt

Are you tired of birds feasting on your luscious, ripe tomatoes before you get the chance to enjoy them? As a plant care specialist, I have seen many gardeners struggle with this issue. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep these pesky birds from ruining your tomato harvest.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand why birds are attracted to tomato plants in the first place. Tomatoes are rich in nutrients that birds need for their diet, such as vitamin C and antioxidants. Additionally, the bright colors of ripening tomatoes can be irresistible to hungry birds searching for food sources. By implementing some simple strategies, however, you can protect your tomato plants and ensure that you get to savor each delicious fruit.

Understanding Bird Behavior And Attraction To Tomatoes

Understanding bird behavior is essential to keeping your tomato plants safe. Birds are attracted to tomatoes for various reasons, such as their bright color and juicy taste. However, understanding their feeding habits can help you develop a strategy to deter them from eating your fruits.

Many birds migrate south during the winter months in search of food sources. Tomatoes left on the vine may be one of the few options available to them during this time. Additionally, some species of birds are omnivorous and will eat both insects and fruits. This means that they may see your tomato plants as an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Attracting beneficial birds to your garden is another way to keep harmful ones away. Creating habitats like nesting boxes or birdbaths can encourage songbirds to visit your garden regularly. Providing food sources such as suet cakes or black oil sunflower seeds can also attract these beneficial birds who love feasting on insects that might harm your plants.

Protecting your tomato plants requires a multi-faceted approach, including creating physical barriers around them. Understanding bird behavior and attraction patterns is just the first step towards achieving this goal. Now we’ll delve into how you can create effective barriers without harming either your tomatoes or any passing birdlife that visits it!

Creating Physical Barriers To Protect Your Plants

One of the most effective ways to keep birds off tomato plants is by creating physical barriers. These can be DIY barrier options or cost-effective solutions that will protect your plants from bird damage.

The first option is to use chicken wire or netting around the perimeter of your garden bed. This creates a barrier that birds cannot pass through, while still allowing sunlight and rain to reach your tomatoes. You can also create individual cages for each plant using wooden stakes and netting, which will provide extra protection against other pests as well.

Another option is to use floating row covers made of lightweight fabric. These covers allow air and water to pass through but prevent birds from accessing your tomatoes. They are easy to install and remove when it’s time to harvest, making them a convenient option for those who want quick and easy protection for their plants.

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, consider building a small greenhouse over your tomato plants. This will not only protect them from birds but also from extreme weather conditions such as frost or high winds. While this may require some initial investment in materials and construction, it can save money in the long run by providing year-round protection for all of your crops.

Using these physical barriers is an excellent way to keep birds off tomato plants without harming the animals themselves. However, there are other methods available that rely on visual deterrents instead of physical ones. In the next section, we’ll explore how reflective materials or shiny objects can help deter birds from eating your precious tomatoes.

Using Reflective Materials Or Shiny Objects To Deter Birds

As we all know, birds can cause significant damage to tomato plants by pecking at the fruits and leaves. While there are DIY options that gardeners can try, such as hanging old CDs or using aluminum foil strips, commercial products designed for deterring birds from gardens may be more effective.

One option is to use reflective materials or shiny objects in your garden. Birds are often scared off by bright lights reflecting on surfaces because it disorients them and makes it difficult for them to focus. You can hang mirrors, wind chimes, or even pie plates near your tomato plants to create a deterrent effect. The goal here is not necessarily to make your garden look pretty but rather to scare away any unwanted feathered friends.

Another option is to invest in commercially available bird repellents made specifically for gardens. These usually come in sprays or granules that you can apply around your plants. Some of these products contain natural ingredients like garlic oil while others have synthetic chemicals that emit unpleasant odors for birds.

When selecting commercial products or DIY options, always read labels carefully and follow manufacturer instructions closely. Remember that some methods may work better than others depending on the type of bird species in your area and how aggressive they are towards tomatoes.

Reflective materials and commercial bird repellent products are great tools for keeping birds away from your tomato plants without harming them. However, if you want greater protection against avian pests, consider installing netting or mesh covers over your plants next.

Installing Netting Or Mesh Covers

Installing netting or mesh covers is a highly effective way to keep birds off tomato plants. However, it’s important to choose appropriate and durable netting options to ensure maximum protection. There are different types of netting available in the market; some are made from plastic while others are made from nylon. The best option would be a heavy-duty nylon netting that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Before installing the netting, make sure that your tomato plant is strong enough to support its weight. Weak plants may get damaged when covered with heavy nets. To prevent bird access, secure the edges of the netting around the base of your plant using garden stakes or rocks. This will also help keep other pests away from your tomato plant.

Properly securing the netting is crucial for keeping birds at bay. Birds can easily sneak under gaps between the ground and the edge of your netting if not installed correctly. Make sure there isn’t any slack on top of your tomatoes so that birds won’t be able to perch on it either. You should regularly inspect and adjust as needed throughout the growing season to ensure that no part of your crop becomes vulnerable.

Incorporating good practices such as choosing an appropriate type of mesh cover and properly securing it around your tomato plants can go a long way in deterring birds from damaging them. If you’re still struggling with pesky birds after implementing these measures, consider adding sound-based repellents into your strategy next!

Implementing Sound-Based Repellents

Have you ever felt frustrated seeing your tomato plants getting destroyed by birds? It can be disheartening to see all of your hard work and effort go to waste. But fear not, there are solutions available to help keep birds away from your beloved tomatoes.

See also  What Birds Eat Corn

One effective method is through the use of sound-based repellents. Birds have sensitive hearing, and certain frequencies can irritate them or signal danger, causing them to stay away from an area. Sound frequency devices emit high-pitched sounds that deter birds without harming them. These devices are easy to install and come in various models that cater to different garden sizes.

When it comes to bird psychology, it’s essential to understand their behavior patterns before deciding on a course of action. For example, most birds are wary of unfamiliar noises since they interpret these as threats. By utilizing sound-based repellents strategically, you can create an environment that makes birds feel uneasy about staying near your tomato plants.

Here are some tips for implementing sound-based repellents:

  • Place the device at different locations around the garden.
  • Use multiple units if necessary depending on the size of your garden.
  • Change the frequency regularly so that birds don’t get accustomed to one particular noise.
  • Be patient – it may take several days for the birds to learn and respond to the new deterrents.

Incorporating sound-based repellents into your gardening routine is just one way you can protect your tomato plants from harm by birds. In our next section, we will discuss another strategy: utilizing scare tactics with visual deterrents. By combining both methods effectively, you can create a safe environment for your plants while maintaining harmony with nature.

Utilizing Scare Tactics With Visual Deterrents

One effective way to keep birds off tomato plants is by utilizing scare tactics with visual deterrents. This method involves using items that will make birds believe there is danger lurking around the area, causing them to stay away from your tomatoes. One of the most commonly used visual deterrents in gardens is a scarecrow. A strategically placed scarecrow can be an excellent bird repellent and also adds a decorative touch to your garden.

Another great visual deterrent for keeping birds away from your tomato plants is colorful ribbons. These are easy to use, inexpensive, and create a flickering effect when they blow in the wind, which scares birds away from landing on your plants. You can hang these colorful ribbons throughout your garden or tie them directly onto each tomato plant’s cage or stake.

When placing a scarecrow or hanging colorful ribbons, it’s essential to place them at varying heights throughout your garden for optimal effectiveness. Birds are smart creatures and may quickly figure out if something isn’t actually dangerous after seeing it repeatedly in one spot. By moving these deterrents around regularly, you’ll ensure their continued effectiveness in keeping pesky birds at bay.

In addition to being visually pleasing and highly effective against bird pests, incorporating scarecrows and colorful ribbons into your garden routine requires minimal effort while providing maximum reward. In the next section, we will discuss another technique that complements this one: planting companion plants that birds dislike.

Planting Companion Plants That Birds Dislike

Marigolds are a great companion plant to keep birds away from tomato plants; their strong scent is disliked by most birds. Nasturtiums, Garlic, and Onion are also effective companion plants, as their scent will also repel birds. Chili Peppers, Petunias, Catnip, Oregano, Sage, Wormwood, Peony, Pansies, Hollyhocks, Lavender, and Sunflowers are also great choices for keeping birds away from tomatoes — and they’ll add a splash of color to your garden too!


If you are a gardener, then you know the importance of companion planting. Not only does it help increase the yield of your garden, but it also helps in pest control. One plant that can be added to your tomato beds is marigolds. These flowers not only add color and beauty to your garden, but they also repel birds.

Marigolds have been used for centuries as a natural insecticide. They contain compounds that make them unpalatable to pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and nematodes. However, what many people don’t know is that marigolds also repel birds due to their strong scent. The pungent odor masks the aroma of ripe tomatoes, making it difficult for birds to locate them.

When planting marigolds as companion plants for your tomatoes, ensure that they are planted around the perimeter of your bed or interspersed among the tomato plants. This way, any bird flying overhead will smell the marigold first before even getting close to your precious tomatoes. Marigolds come in different colors and sizes; however, French and African varieties are particularly hardy and can withstand harsh weather conditions.

In conclusion, adding marigolds to your tomato beds is an excellent strategy for keeping birds away from your crops. Companion planting plays a significant role in improving crop yields naturally while reducing pesticide use on vegetables grown at home gardens. With this simple tip in mind when planning out next year’s garden layout: include some beautiful yellow-orange blooms throughout row ends or mixed into rows themselves!


Now that we’ve discussed marigolds as a companion plant to repel birds from tomato beds, let’s talk about another option: nasturtiums. These edible flowers not only add beauty and color to your garden but also serve as a natural deterrent for birds.

Nasturtiums have a peppery taste that makes them unappetizing to many bird species. Additionally, their bright colors can confuse birds and draw them away from your crops. Planting nasturtiums around the perimeter of your garden or intermingling them with your vegetables can help keep pesky birds at bay.

Companion planting is all about finding plants that work well together in terms of pest control and yield improvement. By incorporating nasturtiums into your garden layout, you’re not only protecting your crops but also enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your space.

In conclusion, adding nasturtiums to your garden is an excellent strategy for deterring birds naturally while enjoying their beautiful blooms and delicious flavor. As with any companion plant, it’s important to research which ones work best in conjunction with the specific vegetables you’re growing. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a thriving, bird-free garden full of vibrant colors and tasty produce!

Trying Homemade Remedies And Natural Repellents

If you’re looking for a natural way to keep birds off your tomato plants, there are several homemade remedies and organic pest control methods that you can try. Bird behavior modification is one such method where you’ll use visual cues or sounds to deter the birds from landing on your plants.

One effective remedy is aluminum foil strips. Cut small pieces of shiny aluminum foil and tie them to stakes around your tomato plant bed. The reflection and noise produced by the flapping of the aluminum will scare away most birds. Another option is to hang old CDs or DVDs above your garden beds. When hit by sunlight, the reflective surface creates flashes that frighten birds.

Another technique involves using essential oils as bird repellents. Birds have a highly developed sense of smell and taste; therefore, certain smells repel them. You may mix peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and apply it to your plants’ leaves every few days. Similarly, vinegar diluted with water has been proven useful in keeping unwanted feathered visitors at bay.

See also  How To Fix A Broken Birds Wing

In conclusion, when trying homemade remedies and natural repellents, remember always to monitor bird activity near your tomato plants before choosing which method works best for you. Consistency in applying these measures could yield optimal results over time, but be patient because different methods work better depending on the species of birds present in your area.

Consistently Monitoring And Adjusting Your Methods For Optimal Results

After trying several homemade remedies and natural repellents, you may have noticed some success in keeping birds away from your tomato plants. However, it’s important not to rest on your laurels just yet. Consistently monitoring and adjusting your methods is key to achieving optimal results.

To track progress, start by noting any changes in bird activity around your garden. Are there still birds hovering near your tomato plants? Have you seen any signs of damage or intrusion despite using various deterrents? Keep a record of these observations so that you can easily identify patterns over time.

Once you’ve gathered enough data, it’s time to adjust your strategies accordingly. This could mean experimenting with new types of repellents or changing the way they are applied. For example, if hanging reflective tape didn’t work as well as expected, try placing old CDs around the perimeter of your garden instead.

Remember that each garden is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Be patient and persistent in finding a solution that fits your particular situation. With careful observation and experimentation, you’ll eventually find the right combination of tactics to keep birds at bay.

By tracking progress and adjusting strategies as needed, you can effectively deter birds from damaging your precious tomato plants. Whether through trial and error or consultation with other gardening experts, continue exploring different approaches until you find what works best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Scarecrows Or Owl Decoys Be Effective In Keeping Birds Away From Tomato Plants?

Reflective materials and sound deterrents are effective ways to keep birds away from tomato plants. As a horticulturalist, I recommend using reflective tape or shiny objects near the tomato plants as these reflect sunlight and create an unsettling environment for birds. Additionally, you can use sound deterrents such as bird alarms or predator calls that mimic natural predators of birds like owls or hawks. These methods work best when used together consistently throughout the growing season. While scarecrows and owl decoys may initially deter birds, they quickly learn that these objects pose no real threat and will continue to feed on your tomato plants.

Can I Use Bird Feeders Placed Elsewhere In My Garden As A Distraction For Birds To Keep Them Away From My Tomato Plants?

Coincidentally, bird feeders can be an effective alternative solution to keep birds away from your tomato plants. By providing the birds with a designated feeding area elsewhere in your garden, they will be less likely to bother your precious tomatoes. However, it is important to strategically place the bird feeders far enough away from your plants so that the birds do not mistake them for their newfound source of food. Additionally, consider using feeders that are designed specifically for certain species of birds as this will attract those birds and deter others. As always, it’s important to remember that there are multiple solutions to every problem in gardening and experimenting with different methods can often lead to success.

Are There Any Plants That Attract Birds That I Should Avoid Planting Near My Tomato Plants?

As a horticulturalist, it’s important to consider the plants you’re planting in your garden and how they may attract or repel certain animals. When it comes to birds, there are definitely some plants that should be avoided if you want to keep them away from specific areas of your garden. For example, sunflowers are known for attracting birds with their seeds and bright flowers, while berry bushes like raspberries and blueberries can also be a popular food source for many bird species. However, there are also natural deterrents you can use to keep birds away from these areas without having to sacrifice certain plantings. Consider using noise makers like wind chimes or reflective objects like shiny ribbons near your tomato plants as a way to deter birds without harming them.

How Often Should I Check My Netting Or Mesh Covers To Ensure They Are Still In Good Condition And Properly Covering My Tomato Plants?

You may be wondering how often you should check your netting or mesh covers to ensure they are properly covering your tomato plants. While it may seem like a hassle, regularly checking the condition of your netting can save you time and money in the long run by preventing bird damage to your crops. As a horticulturalist, I recommend inspecting your netting at least once a week for any holes or tears that could allow birds to slip through. It’s also important to make sure the netting is securely fastened around the perimeter of your plants. If you do notice any damage, don’t hesitate to repair or replace the affected areas immediately. These simple maintenance tips will help keep your tomato plants protected from pesky birds all season long.

Are There Any Specific Homemade Remedies Or Natural Repellents That Work Best For Keeping Birds Away From Tomato Plants?

As a horticulturalist, I always recommend exploring natural remedies and DIY solutions to common plant issues. When it comes to deterring birds from your tomato plants, there are a few options worth trying. One approach is to use reflective materials such as CDs or mirrors around the garden to create flashes of light that will scare off birds. Another option is to plant herbs like mint, basil, and marigold around your tomatoes, as their strong scents can deter birds. Lastly, you could make homemade bird repellent sprays using vinegar or hot pepper flakes mixed with water. These natural remedies not only help protect your plants but also promote a healthier and eco-friendly gardening practice.


As a plant care specialist, I know firsthand the frustration that comes with finding your prized tomato plants stripped bare by pesky birds. While scarecrows and owl decoys may seem like an easy solution, they often prove ineffective in deterring determined birds. Instead, consider using netting or mesh covers to physically block birds from accessing your plants.

But don’t stop there – distract birds from your tomatoes altogether by placing bird feeders elsewhere in your garden. Be mindful of which plants you choose to grow near your tomatoes as well; some species can attract more birds than others. And remember to regularly check and maintain any protective coverings you’ve put in place to ensure they remain effective over time.

At the end of the day, keeping birds off tomato plants requires both proactive prevention methods and consistent maintenance efforts. But trust me when I say: seeing those plump red fruits ripening on the vine will make all the effort worth it come harvest time.

Leave a Reply