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Coons in the tomato patch - would netting help?

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  • Coons in the tomato patch - would netting help?

    So I'm waiting for a prized beefsteak tomato to finish coloring up before harvesting. I waltz out to the garden, anticipating a sweating globe of tomato-y goodness aching to be plucked from the vine, when I realize it's gone!! After a fairly frantic search of the pint-sized garden plot, I spot what's left of prized tomato, lying eviscerated on the ground just inside the fence, sporting teeth marks and missing sizeable chunks of flesh.

    A dearth of tracks or other evidence might make murky work of discerning the culprit(s), but I've had many more coons than possums eating the cat food left on the front porch for "our" outside cat, so I'm assuming I've been 'cooned. Will plastic mesh/netting prevent further thefts of my prized tomatoes? Or am I destined to mourn the most prized specimens from my vines unless I beat said coons to the punch and harvest my goods before they're fully ripe?

    Any and all advice is appreciated.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.

  • #2
    Yes...you've been COONED. I did the same with a beautiful pineapple...was going to pick it tomorrow and went out to find just the top left!

    Raccoons will get those tomatoes no matter what, unless you beat them to the punch!

    Vine ripened tomatoes are over rated...(at least you can tell yourself that)

    I decided I had to simply share all the mangoes with the wildlife...as long as they will leave me HALF!
    "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"


    • #3
      plastic netting?

      I'd try wire netting. And then put juice on it.

      I kid you not, I went to a zoo that had the coons behind electric fence...


      • #4
        Well, it's coons. My dog used to pick the tomatoes off the vine just.when.they.were.ripe. Not a day before!!! Sigh... we could spot one turning pink and keep checking it... he would find it!
        Another dog ate all the strawberries as they ripened.


        • #5
          Do you have a pan of water out by the garden? If not, put one there and keep it full of fresh water. Best if it can be in the shade.

          Many birds and animals will eat tomatoes and similar vegetables for the water content because they are thirsty & have no other source of water. Usually a large pan of water will prevent their eating your garden.

          As for pinapples, years ago, one of my cats bit off part of a growing pineapple on one of our plants. I never figured out why. The cat was a southerner, not an Hawaiian.


          • #6
            I do think the electric netting would work..not sure about non electric. It holds animals away from my chickens well enough.

            A farmer who does veggies at the Saturday market I go to told me yesterday that he has had bears that can get inside his electric fence since their coats can protect them from shocis and feast on his melons. He said when that happens there isn't much you can do.


            • #7
              The ONLY thing that has keep coons (and squirrels, and rabbits) out of my dad's garden is hot wire. He's got some regular netting just on the inside, and then 6" or so outside of that he's got 2 strands of hot wire - top to keep them from thinking they can step/climb over, and bottom to keep them from digging. I think the brand he has is McGregors.
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


              • #8
                Yes, hot wire...that's the only thing that will keep them out.


                • #9
                  And a .22!!!


                  • #10
                    And raccoon is actually very tasty. You could have them with tomatoes.


                    • #11
                      plastic netting, or chicken wire, won't stop them for a second. I would also suggestion electro-netting, they're pretty good climbers.

                      E-net is not overly expensive but if you want to go with a wire you're going to want a welded wire.

                      I've heard the red predator eyes work very well, the coons have been in my garden playing with the onions so we're going to try that.
                      "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                      Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                      Need You Now Equine


                      • #12
                        Dh claims that the way he has set up the chicken wire they won't try to climb it. It's real loose, not stretched. So far it keeps out the scratching chickens and the feline toidy activities. Jury is still out on coons.
                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                        Incredible Invisible


                        • #13
                          No nets will not help ESG with epm makers. (coons)

                          A tight chain link fence would buried partially into the ground.

                          Hot wire WOULD. Hot as in lava hot. You need to put the fear of God in them to keep them away.

                          I have hot wired to keep skunks out of my barn. Worked!

                          I took 2 pvc posts, drilled holes a few inches apart, ran wire. I used 1" diameter.

                          Or trap them. They do like CHEESE alot. Velvetta cheese to be exact. The smell will drive them WILD. So will cold cuts. Put trap away from garden to draw them out. Epm makers are nasty creatures up close. Their teeth will drip with saliva. ICK.

                          My mare came up sunday morning with skunk stink on her nose. I have a trap set. Nothing yet.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                            A farmer who does veggies at the Saturday market I go to told me yesterday that he has had bears that can get inside his electric fence since their coats can protect them from shocis and feast on his melons. He said when that happens there isn't much you can do.
                            Almost any wildlife has a coat (especially deer) that will insulate them from electric. SoooOooo, you have to train them. The electric fence is a psychological barrier. And to train the wildlife brain, you must shock it ! TeeHeeHee...

                            Fold a piece of aluminum foil over the wire. Bait it with peanut butter. Watch the psychological barrier training begin.

                            Electric is pretty effective with coons because they have to touch every.damned.thing with their little hands.


                            • #15
                              As for trapping coons... good luck. We got a couple of them, but the last one is outsmarting my husband. He even re-engineered the HavaHeart trap with a trip wire and pulleys, and the darn thing broke out. We need a longer trap. The door must have come down on his hiney and he was able to shimmy out. Scared the poop out of him though. Big time.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                                As for trapping coons... good luck. We got a couple of them, but the last one is outsmarting my husband. He even re-engineered the HavaHeart trap with a trip wire and pulleys, and the darn thing broke out. We need a longer trap. The door must have come down on his hiney and he was able to shimmy out. Scared the poop out of him though. Big time.

                                is that where you trap them before you shoot them?


                                • #17
                                  Who was it that had that in their signature?

                                  My husband doesn't shoot the trapped ones... 'fraid of hitting his trap But I was pretty imprssed with how he re-rigged the trap. Too bad it didn't work.

                                  He has no qualms of shooting them if they dilly dally in the light of the motion sensor light. Nothing like being woken at 3 am by a guy shooting a .22 out your bedroom window.


                                  • #18
                                    I trapped a coon (in a Havahart trap) in the barn last night. Found the empty sprung trap half way down the barn aisle this morning. Twice yesterday it was trapped and escaped. I hate coons.


                                    • #19
                                      We shoot EVERY epm maker. Trap be damned. Of all we have shot, and that is alot, there is only one hole, and all it did was take out a piece of the wire. Might have been missing when I got the trap, not sure. Hey he damages the trap, then buy new. I have a cheap trap from TSC. I have had some strong critters try to get out of my trap, none have yet.

                                      Try tying a Ky Fried chicken wing or leg - original recipe - to a string and hang.

                                      Also you can put goodies under the trigger plate.

                                      Also try velvetta cheese. They love it. Also strawberries.

                                      Good luck with your epm maker.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BabyGoose View Post
                                        And raccoon is actually very tasty.
                                        No... please say you didn't...
                                        "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh