Sunday, September 7, 2008

The first tomato in our backyard (and a battle with a deer family)

We planted some tomato plants in our backyard for the first time this summer, and after almost three months of waiting and taking care of them (with watering them every day, adding stakes, etc.), we finally got the first tomato to harvest two days ago!

This is the tomato we harvested:

And this is the tomato cut up and thrown into a salad:

Hmm....It was DELICIOUS! we must say!!

It was not without any problem, however, that we managed to harvest this tomato: we had to compete with a deer family that pays frequent visits to our backyard, and that now turned out to eat even our tomatoes, not only flowers and flower buds!!!

So, as soon as we noticed that a deer was eating our tomatoes which had just started ripening, I did some *serious* research on the web and asking a gardener friend for advice.  

I first sprayed a deer repellent called "Liquid Fence" (which is biodegradable, made of seaweed and egg) on the leaves and stems of the tomato plants, and then, following an advice from the gardener friend, we put a transparent fishing line at about 4 feet high and about 2 feet away from the tomato plants.  According to the friend, given that deer always come out at the dawn and the dusk, they cannot see the transparent fishing line, and thus when they try to reach for tomatoes their body touches the fishing line and then they freak out and ran away.

Amar was at first a bit dubious about this idea, but he did it anyway because it was the simplest and quickest solution at hand, and also because it happened to be my birthday (!) --- so he wanted to please me rather than frustrate me. ^^

The fishing lines installed around the tomato plants look like this:

So far it seems working well, and we managed to protect the only tomato left which was ripening then, and harvest it two days later (as you saw above).

There are still about 20 to 30 tomatoes which are to ripen from now on, so we really hope that this simple device will work until the end of the season!

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