I was having problems with birds damaging the ripening ears of my sweet corn. Various scare tactics met with marginal success. What proved 100 percent effective for me was placing brown paper lunch bags over each of the ears as they neared maturity — after the silks began to turn brown and before the birds discovered them! Place a bag firmly over each ear, wedging a side of the bag between the ear and the stalk to help hold the bag in place. The birds either ignore the covered ears or are unable to defeat the bags.
As you harvest a mature ear, the used bag can then be placed on another ear that is getting close to ripening, thus conserving the number of total bags you need. The bags are inexpensive and an easy and effective way to protect your small garden plot. (I usually plant six 20-foot rows.) This same technique also seems to reduce worm problems.
Denis E. Compton
Dassel, Minnesota Tomato