How To Protect Blueberries From Birds – Blueberries are delicious fruits that are very easy to grow in your garden with the right soil and care. But I am sure that you will agree with me that it is very troublesome having to put in all the work just to have some plundering birds come strip your garden of very mature berry. Most especially when it is still early in the season that growth is slow. Due to the frustration, I had to find a profound solution to this problem and if you share this same trouble then welcome to the aluminium post as I will be sharing with you how you comfortably protect your precious blueberries from predators.
Having attempted some bird-preventing techniques like a rattlesnake and aluminum pie pans to safeguard my berries but all to no avail. Don’t get me wrong these other techniques are good but have their limits if left unchecked as birds turned out to be quick learners, for example, a flock of robins can still damage your berries even when you are using the methods mentioned earlier. Along the line, I came across a reliable technique to keep the birds away from my berries and that technique is known as bird netting. Bird netting might sound as easy as draping netting over the bushes but if you do so there is no guarantee that the birds will not land and pick through the mesh because the netting is close to the plants. Easily pushing against the netting the get to your juicy berries.
How To Install Bird Netting
The fun part of bird netting is that you can afford to do it yourself but it is time-consuming. If it is not properly installed you will end up causing damage to your plants, property and the birds that you are trying to keep away and you don’t know which endangered species you might harm. Before purchasing your bird netting it is advisable to identify the right size for your berry farm as bird netting comes in various sizes of different plants and structures and don’t forget to also take into consideration the species of bird you are trying to prevent from pestering your garden. After considering these factors and you have gotten your netting then follow these steps;
- Make sure that every corner fixing is installed at every corner or every 10m along a straight run, the choice is yours.
- Between the corner fixing fit intervening fixings in a straight line at 1-meter intervals for 75mm and 50mm nets, 0.5-meter intervals for 40mm and 28mm nets and 0.3-meter intervals for 19mm nets respectively.
- Through one side of the intervening fixing run the wire top and loop one end of the wire at the corner fixing securing them with two copper ferrules or wire grips.
- Hitch an opened barrel strainer to the other corner fixing and threading the free end of the wire through the eye while pulling the wire tight to secure with wire grip
- Tighten the barrel strainer to make the wire tense. Repeat this for the other sides of the area but take note larger nets may need extra diagonal support wires.
- Attach one corner of the net to a corner fixing by applying q netting corner tie and do the same for the rest of the corners fixing and rounding the mesh.
- At every mesh square round, the edge to wire sow ring and ensure the net is pulled tight
N/B: Don’t forget to give yourself an access hole for harvest purposes. The fix will not last forever as over time the netting will damage, giving way for holes and as that birds can easily make use of. So need for regular maintenance is advisable.
But there are some other techniques you can try out though I am yet to test these techniques and there are effective in their ways. They are as follows;
- Grape Kool-Aid: The compound methyl anthranilate is very irritating to birds and this compound is found in Grape-flavoured Kool-Aid. You can mix 3-4 packages of grape Kool-Aid (depending on the size of your garden) in a gallon of water and spray your berries when they begin to ripe.
- Table Sugar: A research at Cornell has shown that spraying plants with a sucrose solution reduced bird damage on blueberries considerably. And table sugar is in water is a perfect sucrose solution that birds can digest, unlike the sugar found in fruits like fructose and glucose that birds can easily digest.
After making these options known to you it is left to you to decide which one you would like to experiment with but as you experiment keep in mind the damages you are experiencing from the bird pestering on your berries as harvest will be fast approaching.