Clusters of tomatoes in fruit protection netting bags.

I am excited to share with you a new option for saving your tomatoes from the birds AND allowing them to ripen on the vine! This new option is better than hanging CDs and aluminum pie plates in the tomato plants to scare birds, better than netting that entangles and endangers birds and lizards, and better than picking tomatoes early before they ripen and turn that red color that attracts the birds.

Fruit Protection Netting Bags

Fruit protection netting bags

The option is fruit protection netting bags! These bags are made of organza mesh fabric. I bought 50 of these 6” x 9” bags with drawstrings from Amazon for $16 dollars to protect my clusters of grapes from the birds and squirrels AND they work fabulously for tomatoes too.

How to Use Fruit Protection Netting Bags for Tomatoes

Enclosing unripe tomatoes in fruit protection netting bags

Wait until a cluster of tomatoes has developed and the first tomato begins to turn a faint orange color. Slip the bag over the entire cluster of tomatoes and gently pull the drawstrings. No need to tie the strings. The bags allow air, light, and water to pass through them but protect tomatoes from birds and squirrels. The birds don’t seem to see or notice the tomatoes, as if they are camouflaged from their sight. Since the tomatoes are not seen by birds, they can stay on the vine longer and fully ripen. A vine ripened tomato is sweeter and has a better flavor than one that is picked before ripening.

When to the Harvest Tomatoes from the Bags

Harvesting tomatoes from fruit protection netting bags

A tomato is ripe and ready to harvest when it has turned a deep red color. Harvest the tomato by opening the bag and removing the ripe tomato(es). Re-close the bag to allow the other tomatoes to ripen. The bags can be re-used over and over again. Enjoy your tomatoes. Happy Gardening.

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