Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 2 Days Ago   #1
GreenThumbGal_07
Tomatovillian™
 
GreenThumbGal_07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 178
Default Someone's been digging in my pots

Well, I'm a bit frustrated.

I have several pots outside, with tomatoes, cucumbers and melons planted.

Someone/some creature has decided that the loose potting soil is good to dig in.

I've seen evidence of the digging over the past few weeks.

I don't know whether it's a squirrel, cat, or dog. The most recent event had about a quart of soil lying outside the pot (felt fabric pot) and the pots had dents in the front, as if the creature had been leaning on the top edge as it dug in.

So, I decided that some sort of black plastic mulch was in order.

I took several 39-gal black plastic lawn and leaf bags, tore out the bottom seam, and placed them over each pot. I made the drawstring snug against the plant base at the top, and tied it.

I hope this discourages the critter, whatever it is. The soil part is now almost entirely covered. Also, this will help warm the soil for the melons, keep weeds down, and reduce the need for constant watering somewhat, I hope.
GreenThumbGal_07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Days Ago   #2
oldman
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Kansas 5b
Posts: 197
Default

My guess would be raccoons. Anything that has bone or fishmeal or is fertilized with fish emulsions will be interesting to them. I stopped fertilizing tomatoes when I learned that the fertilizer I used smelled like food to them. They'd dig up the plant looking for something that wasn't there. The plant would get replanted and they'd keep digging. Eventually I relocated them, but there are almays more raccoons.

Last edited by oldman; 1 Day Ago at 10:45 AM.
oldman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Days Ago   #3
GreenThumbGal_07
Tomatovillian™
 
GreenThumbGal_07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 178
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman View Post
My guess would be raccoons. Anything that has bone or fishmeal or is fertilized with fish emulsions will be interesting to them. I stopped fertilizing tomatoes when I learned that the fertilizer I used smelled like food to them. They'd dig up the plant looking for something that wasn't there. The plant would get replanted and they'd keep digging. Eventually I relacated them, but there are almays more raccoons.
Thanks. I'd put organic fertilizer on them (Down to Earth and Espoma Tomato Tone, as well as Alaska Fish Fertilizer) but had no idea that they'd find that fragrant stuff appetizing. I thought organic would be better! Instead they almost dug up one of my plants!

So last time I fertilized, a few days ago, I put a couple of Jobe's Tomato Food spikes in each pot. I hope they will be enough for the season.

Anyhow, if the critters try to tear through the plastic, maybe I'll spray animal repellent on the pots. Or put paving stones on top of the plastic.
GreenThumbGal_07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Days Ago   #4
brownrexx
Tomatovillian™
 
brownrexx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 1,318
Default

Skunks will dig for fertilizer too. I quit using anything in the tomato planting hole after finding my tender seedlings dug up overnight.
brownrexx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Day Ago   #5
GoDawgs
Tomatovillian™
 
GoDawgs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Augusta area, Georgia, 8a/7b
Posts: 1,365
Default

I hear ya! Something has been digging in the big tomato pots but not as vigorously as in yours. These are small holes, maybe several inches wide and deep. I suspect squirrels.

Every year the indoor plants go outside for the summer and the squirrels dig in them. For the past several years my sister has been putting pine cones in the pots to cover the soil surface and it seems to have deterred them. This isn't the time of year to be collecting nice prickly pine cones but I'm sure if I root around the property long enough I can find some. Hopefully enough to cover 21 buckets and then hope it works!
GoDawgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Day Ago   #6
Salsacharley
Tomatovillian™
 
Salsacharley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,991
Default

You should watch out for how hot your containers get when covered with black plastic. That stuff really elevates the heat. I covered my pots just like you except I used white kitchen garbage bags which reduced the heat considerably.
Salsacharley is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:03 AM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2019 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★