In almost 20 years of trying to grow backyard tomatoes we're had very limited success because the minute they start turning orange they are gobbled up by what I'm pretty sure are rats (though I don't want to unfairly demonize an animal without visual evidence). Suppose it could be rabbits too, but not as likely I don't think. This year we have three really good plants in pots on our back patio and I'm determined to enjoy them, in spite of losing the first ripening fruit the other night.
I though about building a wire mesh cage around the plants but that's not going to help the patio aesthetics at all.
A local Lowe's sold me something, called Shot-Gun RepelsAll, that is a granular material you spread in a six inch band around the pots. Supposedly won't harm animals and gives off a repellent that inflames the nostrils of the critters and drives them away. Any experience with this stuff or better ideas???