Groundhogs that are known as woodchucks as well are seen to dine on various tender garden crops/veggies. Thereby, tomatoes being another tender garden veggie, while growing it up in your garden, you may have the common query that whether groundhogs eat tomatoes or not.
Therefore, to get the accurate answer to your all queries regarding this topic, have a place at the segments explained ahead.
Do Groundhogs Eat Tomatoes?
Groundhogs really like to munch on tomatoes because tomatoes are tender vegetables like the other tender veggies such as cabbages, lettuces, beans, etc. In fact, when it comes to eating tomatoes, they can become messy eaters trampling tomatoes and the tomato plants frequently while devouring them.
As tomatoes grow in plants and not under the ground, these tender juicy veggies come with a whole package of plants, leaves, and stems, also they go through a phase of ripening from green unripe tomatoes to red ripe tomatoes.
Therefore, to let you know the edibility of tomato plants, leaves, green tomatoes, and ripe tomatoes to woodchucks, brief explanations of these areas are included below.
Being herbivorous creatures, groundhogs absolutely eat tomato plants. In fact, groundhogs are noticed as very big messy eaters that not only eat the tomato plants but also crush the plants on the ground while they are munching on the tomato plants.
However, occasionally groundhogs may not eat the tomato plants to the ground level but they surely will trample the plants every time.
Groundhogs prefer to munch on tomato leaves as much as any other vegetable leaf such as cabbage and lettuce. Most times, they will eat all tomato leaves leaving the tomato plants with bare stems on.
Even though groundhogs are seen chomping on all tomato leaves, they like to eat tender and young tomato leaves than the matured leaves like any other plant-eating animal that feeds on plants.
Groundhogs indeed eat green tomatoes as well. It’s because free tomatoes have a quite crunchy texture, they are firm, and they are less succulent and pulpy than ripe red tomatoes, therefore, green tomatoes are more liked by groundhogs to eat.
Besides, groundhogs are known to enjoy feeding on green tomatoes because of their tart and sour-like flavor.
Almost all kinds of animals that eat garden veggies like to eat ripe tomatoes, so groundhogs are no exception. They also absolutely love to devour those red ripe, fleshy, and juicy tomatoes. Thereby, tomato plants may find with no ripe tomatoes hanging on them in a short time.
Groundhogs normally eat ripe tomatoes that are hanging at bottom of the plant as low-hanging tomatoes are easily accessible to them. But they don’t avoid eating high-hanging ripe tomatoes either.
How To Keep Groundhogs From Eating My Tomato Plants?
As woodchucks are herbivorous, naturally they love to dine on the tomato plants in your garden along with other tender vegetables. Thereby, all the effort you have put into growing the tomato plants can get decimated within a single day.
So to keep the woodchucks away from eating your tomatoes in your garden, here some effective and harmless tips are included for your convenience.
Block Groundhogs Out:
Fences are surely an effective method to keep groundhogs away from tomato plants. To make fences, get at least 6 feet tall chicken wire and 5 feet posts. Then bury the chicken wires 12” deeper in the ground to deter the groundhogs from making tunnels under ground.
After that fasten the fencings to posts you bought except for the upper feet of the wires, and arch that away from the garden to stave off groundhogs ascending over it.
Apply Groundhog-Resistant Scents:
Groundhogs just detest the scent of garlic as the pungent scent of garlic is intolerable to groundhogs’ sensitive noses.
So you can crush garlic cloves and sprinkle the crushed garlic around the tomato plants’ beds, around your garden, or the areas that you want to make groundhog-free, this will deter groundhogs.
You can also sprinkle cayenne peppers near to the holes of groundhogs or spray cayenne pepper+water solution on the tomato plants to keep groundhogs away from munching on them.
Apply the crushed garlic or cayenne pepper until the groundhogs flee.
Plant Tomato Plants On Raised Beds:
You can plant the tomato plants on at least 18 inches high or higher than 18 inches raised beds because this height of vegetable beds seems harder for groundhogs to hop into them, so there is less chance of groundhogs eating your tomato plants.
Also, it would be a great solution if you can place 6 inches of wooden planks underneath the ground level so that groundhogs can’t burrow under raised tomato beds.
Lay A Barrier Beneath Raised Beds:
Laying a barrier of wire mesh or heavy-duty hardware clothing underneath the raised beds of tomato plants will help you to deter groundhogs away from chomping tomato plants. It’s because the barrier will stop these groundhogs from digging into the raised beds.
Organic repellents come in both granules and liquid form and they deter groundhogs through taste and smell. Therefore, use the organic repellent on tomato plant stems and leaves. Don’t apply to the tomatoes. Dried kitty litter can be a good repellent.
Essential oil-based commercial repellents work excellently too to repel groundhogs. But you have to apply several times a week. And remember to apply on tomato leaves, stems, and flowers only. Tomcat Animal Repellent is a good one.
How To Keep Groundhogs Out Of The Garden?
If you want to prevent groundhogs from eating your tomatoes along with other veggies, keeping them away from the garden is the best solution in the first place.
Here are the tips that will help you keep groundhogs out of the garden.
Keep The Garden Clean:
Keep your garden clean by cleaning out any bushes and brush piles, trimming the grass, pulling out weeds that can make potential hiding places for groundhogs .
Motion-Sensitive Water Sprinkler:
Installing a motion-sensitive water sprinkler in your garden will stave off groundhogs from your garden. This motion-sensitive water sprinkler will first detect the motion of groundhogs around your garden and after detecting motion, it will sprinkle water on them which will make them run away.
Scare Them Away:
Groundhogs easily get scared of loud noises, so you can make noise by using noisy moving things such as wind chimes, pinwheels, or any other decorative yet functional thing.
Use Epsom Salt:
Epsom salt is an effective natural ingredient that can help you to keep groundhogs out of your garden. Just sprinkle some Epsom salt around the entrances or exits of burrows of groundhogs and see the groundhogs running away from your garden.
Reduce Food Supply:
Groundhogs mainly invade your garden to eat veggies such as tomatoes, cabbages, beans, lettuces, zucchini, and cucumbers.
And the simplest way of discouraging them to come into your garden is to reduce the supply of these vegetables. So pick these veggies as soon as they seem mature to keep groundhogs out of your garden.
Catch-and-release groundhogs are a good and humane way of keeping away groundhogs from tomato plants.
You can take help from your local Humane Society to lend live traps from them, then set the traps 5-10 feet away from the groundhog burrow as well as trick them with favorite food. After catching, release them to the appropriate place recommended by the Humane Society.
This is the last thing you should do, and while attempting this remember that the safety of the groundhogs comes first. So check frequently on the live traps.
What Vegetables Will Groundhogs Not Eat?
Despite being herbivorous and munching on almost all vegetables, groundhogs will not eat some specific vegetables even if they get full access to eat them.
And the list of vegetables that groundhogs tend to avoid includes brassicas, onions, garlic, potatoes, celery, turnips, winter squash, kale, eggplant, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radishes.
Sometimes they can eat broccoli and sometimes not, it depends on their preference and situation.
What Animal Is Eating My Tomatoes At Night?
Not only woodchucks/groundhogs eat your tomatoes but there are also many other animals that can happily munch in your tomatoes at night. Here are the description of other potential tomato eaters.
Rabbits come first in the list of possible tomato eaters. They not only will eat tomatoes but also will eat the whole tomato plant with leaves leaving bare stems to the ground level.
Deer are voracious so they basically eat anything they find, therefore, they will rat tomatoes as if they are hungry.
Squirrels & Chipmunks:
Squirrels and chipmunks prefer to eat ripe luscious tomatoes but they will not eat the tomato plant.
Along with tomato plants and leaves, groundhogs enjoy eating both green and ripe tomatoes as much as any other preferred leafy vegetables of theirs to dine on. As a result, groundhogs can finish all the low-hanging tomatoes within a day and trample the plants while devouring tomatoes.