Thwarting the birds

Last year, I was overjoyed to begin picking a quart or so every few days from the strawberries I’d planted in the potager.  They were older plants moved from the prior Cook’s Garden at the farm, so were off to a good start.  My joy was soon curtailed, however, when the robins discovered the fruit.  Soon every nearly ripe berry had peck holes.  Yesterday, finding the first ripe berry, I sprung into action….well, as springy as these 70 year old bones can be these days.  (Note:  this winter, I’d planned to build elegant berry boxes that I’ve seen on some of your blogs, but I procrastinated.  Now I need instant protection, so elegance is set aside for quick.)

Cane compressed    Last month, when I visited my friend Christine, I found her cutting armloads of young bamboo canes that were infringing upon her lawn.  They’d been planted along a ditch between properties and were now spreading rampantly into her property.  (Lesson here:  be sure you plant only clumping bamboo, not the running.)  Lucky for me, she wanted to be rid of them, so I loaded a huge armload into the back of my truck, thinking they would make terrific pea and bean trellises, and stakes for tall lilies.  Upright canes compressed  Voila!  Instant support for the berry netting.  Simply sticking the poles deeply into the soil along the edges of the boxes, bringing them together in the center and anchoring them to a horizontal supporting pole with a bit of wire, the framework quickly came together.

Berry framework compressed  The tall canes were trimmed to a manageable height.  Untangling the netting took longer, but eventually it was spread over the framework and anchored to the bottom with additional small pieces of bamboo cut from the trimmings.   Berry netting on framework compressed You must look closely to see it.  Let’s see if the birds can overcome that!

The leftover trimmings became supports for the peas.  Although the “Little Marvel” variety I planted first remain fairly short, staking them a bit keeps them from flopping over onto their neighbors, in this case kohlrabi and radishes in the center rows.  (Yes, I plant densely.)

Peas staked compressed

Just one other note.  Last year I stupidly picked off the bird-pecked berries and threw them over the potager’s fence.  I suspect passing raccoons found those, and investigated further until they discovered the source.  I won’t be doing that again.  Doubt if my “quick and dirty” framework will thwart raccoons, so I still plan to build those elegant berry boxes, but in the meantime, as least my berries are protected from the birds.  I hope!



About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
This entry was posted in berries, critter control, gardening, kitchen gardens, Potager, raised beds, row covers, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Thwarting the birds

  1. bcparkison says:

    There is always something or someone that goes for your hard work besides you. At least you found a good use for the bamboo. It can just take over.


  2. bethtrissel says:

    You’ve done a great job with bird thwarting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have PLENTY running bamboo! Not planted by me. Absolutely detest it but like you, am using it for trellis. Right now I’m dealing with squirrels, rabbits and birds. We did see a raccoon last week!


  4. sher2garden says:

    Like your work with the netting! My blueberries are in a permanent enclosure with deer/bird netting but I had wondered what to do about my black raspberries. I have just a few that had been growing on the side of my garden. I’m definitely using your idea for them. Thanks!


  5. Nancy says:

    Hi! Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog! I could use just a few of your bamboo sticks!! The weather certainly has been a challenge this year with it’s ups and downs We live in the northwest corner of Indiana and thought may be our winds were from the Chicago winds. I see you made chive vinegar. I have made it in the past and was hoping to again. Since we have moved I bought three chive plants, put them in pots up higher so Coco does not get them. So far not even one blossom! Take care. Nancy


  6. danzak44 says:

    I live raised beds! Hopefully you thwarted those birds! Now what do you do to thwart raccoons?


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