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A blackbird steals my ripe cherry tomatoes! I tried hanging CDs and pieces of string, but it didn’t work. It would be too expensive to have netting over the whole area. Is there a way to scare blackbirds, a plant they don’t like the smell of? Something natural that wouldn’t hurt them, but it would let me have my tomatoes!

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Blackbirds are cheeky and learn quickly! Unfortunately I don’t know of anything other than covering the plants to protect them. I’ve made scarecrows in the past which I think have helped me – could be worth a try. The only other option is to pick the fruit before its totally ripe – so long as the blossom end has colour on it, they will ripen in a sunny spot such as a window sill.

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