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How to Grow: Control Birds
Watch this video to learn how to protect and care for berries and fruits from birds with repellents and netting.
Learn how to use bird netting to keep birds from eating berries and fruit.
Birds. You know there’s nothing worse than growing berries or fruit or even vegetables and then having a flock of birds come in and swoop in and eat all of those like in one day. It actually happened to me with cedar waxwings. They came in and they scooped up all our cherries in one day off the tree. So you want to protect all those crops that you’ve been nursing for months and months in your garden and there’s two basic ways to do that. One is to use scare devices and the other is to use netting.
Now for scared devices you can get really clever with this and use some home remedies. For example maybe you have some old Christmas CDs as hanging around you never really liked any way. You can just hang these in the garden. As they flutter in the breeze they reflect light up and the birds don’t like that. The same thing is true with this holographic tape. You can just put it across the berry bushes and when they see that, they think there’s some action going on down there and the birds will go somewhere. You can actually get really creative and use scare I balloons. Now these are actually Japanese device. They look like big beach balls and they have circles on them. But to a bird those circles look like the eye of a hawk. You just put it about six feet tall in your berry bushes around your trees and move them every few days so it looks like the hawk is kind of keep an eye on what’s going on in those berry bushes. So the idea is to put out these scare devices just as your berries are starting to ripen. That way it’ll scare them off before they know there’s something good to eat. Then keep them out there right through the harvest season.
Another thing you can do is use netting. Let me show you a great way to do that. The key with netting is to not just drape the netting over the plant but to create a little cage. The idea with the cage is that it’s going to keep the netting off of the plant so that when you go in to harvest you’re not pulling off berries and leaves. Let me go inside and show you. Once you’re inside your netting then you can just harvest here and have no problems at all. Put up the netting just as these berries are starting to turn color and that way the birds won’t know there’s something great inside to eat.
A final thing I want to show you is a spray. There aren’t a lot of repellents home gardeners can use to keep birds off your berries but one cool home remedy came from Cornell University. It uses artificially flavored grape kool-aid. Yes the stuff you get in grocery stores. You take four of these packets put them in a gallon of water and spray it on your berries just as they’re starting to turn color. The birds eat them and don’t like the flavor of them. But, of course, when you harvest you can just wash it right off.
So using the kool-aid technique or maybe some scare tactics and netting are probably the best ways to keep the birds off your berries.