how to protect blueberry bushes from birds

This keep the wild rabbits at bay in winter. (Cut conduit in half for five foot spans.). If you don't need deer  or rabbit protection, a “netting only” solution can protect your harvest. ONLY bring them out right when the berries are starting to ripen. Then, the conduit slides onto the connectors. I got a chance to talk to Rich and get a little more information on the welded connecting pieces. Answered . Move them around every few days. If you do it when the bush is in bloom, you’re in danger of damaging them and with no flowers you get no fruit. Commercial growers also apply sugar syrup to blueberry shrubs. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. There are also other products available that claim to keep the birds from crops. Use small mesh netting (1/4″) to drape individual plants. Run a line between the posts, and drape the blueberry netting over the line like a tent, folding over at both ends. Measure your blueberry plants, high and wide, and take these measurements to the store. The birds love blueberries, and got smart as time went on. You can also cover maturing corn ears with paper bags, and lay garden fabric over germinating seedlings to foil the birds. At Rich's place, he uses 4 foot tall chicken wire fencing (one high and one low, with overlap) to wrap all the way to the top of his enclosure. Protecting blueberry plants from birds with netting can be as simple as draping netting over the bushes or building an actual reverse aviary. As harvest approaches, we get two to three people to slide the netting up and over the frame. I have been using it since, haven’t had problems with deer… they’re smart, and they do check to see what their landing will look like. 3/4″ should provide protection from most blueberry eating birds. There are chemical repellents that are said to keep the birds away, but it sounds like the results are short term – about 3 days post application. Without protection, they do serious damage to our blueberry plants. We use Bird-X netting with 5/8″ mesh, because it's available locally. Buy a number of different kinds and try to keep to colors that are more realistic, since the idea is to fool the birds. Several years ago, we planted a long row of blueberries to mark the edge of our display garden. In this post, we share a combination of blueberry netting and blueberry cage tips to protect plants year round from deer, birds, squirrels and other wildlife. For longer life, you can clamp it to the post with hose clamps instead of zip ties,  because the ties will weather and break. If you are going to drape the netting directly over the bushes, wait until after the shrubs have bloomed and the fruit is forming. You can buy it in 3 foot pieces at Farm and Fleet, or 20 footers at a steel supply outlet. This will keep the birds from hopping under the netting and getting at the fruit that way. Larger mesh also allows pollinators to reach any remaining blossoms. He came up with a great way to protect his blueberries and still have easy access to the plants. Most of them are just that, claims. However, there is a possibility that some little bird might get tangled in the netting, so keep an eye on it. As far as the netting goes, that’s all there is to it. With proper care, netting should last for several seasons. You may have even lost the battle and thrown in the towel. Since the netting was only put on at harvest, the plants are accessible to deer or rabbits the rest of the year. You could also use hoops to build a tunnel covered with netting if you have a long line of berries or purchase a crop cage or bird control pop-up net that fits over raised beds. 5 answers Flipturn. So blueberry plant protection may become an ongoing, ceaseless process. Support For Hops Vines: Learn About Hops Plant Support, Backyard Hops Plant: How To Plant Hops And Hops Plant History, Natural Bird Repellents: Controlling Birds In The Garden, Prickly Kale Leaves – Does Kale Have Thorns, Corn Husk Wreath Ideas: How To Make A Corn Husk Wreath, DIY Air Plant Wreaths: Wreath Making With Air Plants, Hibiscus For Zone 5 Gardens: Tips On Zone 5 Hibiscus Care, Southern Arrowwood Shrub Care – How To Grow Southern Arrowwood Plants, Bacterial Canker Control – Tips On Treating Bacterial Canker On Cherries, Zone 5 Xeriscape Plants: Tips On Xeriscaping In Zone 5, Thanksgiving Tradition: Turning Homegrown Pumpkins Into Pie, Growing Thanksgiving Dinner – Must Have Turkey Side Dishes, Interesting Uses For Pecans: What To Do With Pecans, The Bountiful Garden: Bringing The Garden To Thanksgiving. Our farm dogs usually kept the browsers at bay, but Rich and I don't currently have dogs, so deer pressure is worse. Bird netting protects tree fruit and berries if installed two to three weeks before fruit matures. Protecting blueberry plants from birds with netting can be as simple as draping netting over the bushes. Blueberry plant protection may involve more than one tactic. The question is how to protect blueberry plants from birds? Birds, like most any other creature, become accustomed to things over time, so what may initially work suddenly ceases to deter them within a couple of weeks. the post about keeping deer out of the garden, Bird Netting Pictures and Ideas for Bramble and Blueberry Plantings, Growing Blueberries – Quick Guide and Master Grower’s Tips, Queen Anne’s Lace – Butterfly Host Plant and Blueberry Protector, Blueberry Pear Jam – Sweet, Luscious Pears and Ripe, Juicy Blueberries, 6 Ways to Get the Musty Smell Out of Clothes and Towels. You can get a look at Rich's blueberry cage in the video below. Answer + 2. Picking your berries from inside an enclosure or under netting can be inconvenient, but netting isn't the only form of protection for blueberry bushes. Audio scare tactics are another way to dissuade the birds. To make a door, put some fencing on a simple rectangular frame and mount that where you want to get into the patch. However, many blueberry growers find that birds can be clever and the simple method of draping netting over blueberry bushes doesn't keep the birds at bay. (Netting with 1/4″ mesh helps, but may not completely eliminate the problem.). I found a post that suggested placing wires at five and seven feet above the four foot perimeter fence, along with a white clotheslines strung inside the fence about 3 feet in and four and half feet high. … Sometimes the net gets tangled in the foliage, and when you pull off the net, you pull off leaves and berries. A combination of audio and visual scare tactics seems to work the best. Exclusion just means you’re going to prevent the birds from entering the blueberry patch by means of netting. That is, of course, unless you try exclusion. Our deer pressure isn't as bad, so for right now we only have a four foot tall fence around the enclosure. Some people try lighting, such as strobe lighting, to deter the birds. There are a few ways to protect your blueberry plants from being picked clean by birds, and most of them involve placing netting over the top of the bush to eliminate access. It’s time to take back your blueberry bushes by protecting the blueberry plants from the birds. Hope this helps you or other readers! Never Buy Bread Again has over twenty bread recipes for all occasions, plus troubleshooting for common baking problems and tips on how to store your bread. When the first hint of color starts to darken blueberries, it's time for blueberry netting. Bird netting is one of the simplest ways to keep birds from your bushes. For a single row of bushes, set a tall post at each end of the row. If you do it when the bush is in bloom, you’re in danger of damaging them and with no flowers you get no fruit. The area had always been planted with daffodils, so it was glorious in … Staple the net into place. Filed Under: Gardening Tagged With: bird protection, blueberries, blueberry netting, growing blueberries. The netting is secured to the fence and frame at intervals with cable ties or fabric ties. To accommodate both, we start with eight foot t-posts driven about one foot into the ground. Side supports are “T” shaped, with the base down and one “arm” to each side. Helpful. Bird Barriers. Larger enclosure = bigger landing pad. Bend PVC pipe in hoops over the patch, and drape netting over the pipes to make a netting “hoop house”. Near harvest time, she'd cover each bush with blueberry netting. In my experience, only netting works. Rich is tall (about six and a half feet), and highbush blueberries can get tall (up to around 6 feet). I drill a hole through the 3/4 square tube, and then tack weld the round stock in place. Three other blueberry netting options include: If you need ideas for commercial scale blueberry netting installation, see “Bird Netting Pictures and Ideas for Bramble and Blueberry Plantings” from the University of Kentucky. The side extensions are 3/8 solid round stock. We have had bad storms go though, and it gives but won't break. Otherwise, to create a reverse aviary, use 7-foot bamboo poles or the like to create a structure that surrounds the blueberries and then cover that with netting. 3/4″ should provide protection from most blueberry eating birds. Cannons, gunfire, firecrackers, taped noises, radios, you name it, have all been tried. on May 25, 2019. Growing up on the farm, mom had several large blueberry bushes that produced reliably each year. This method works easiest if your blueberry bushes are in a row, although it can be done with individual or widely-spaced plants, just use a couple of pipe hoops and separate sheets of netting for each blueberry bush.

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