The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Blueberry Protection?

Blueberry Protection?

Penelope
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 50
My blueberry plants are young but are starting to produce. I don't mind sharing with the birds but do not want my bushes picked before I have an opportunity to partake of at least a few berries. Does anyone have a technique that works to shy the birds away without covering with netting? If the answer is netting what specifications should I look to purchase?
Aaron P.
user 6845673
Falmouth, ME
Post #: 42
I think netting is the only sure fire way, i would get a roll of cheapo plastic deer netting, its about $10 for a big roll and if you are careful you can re-use it indefinitely. Other things you might try would be hanging pie plates to spin in the wind or "owl eye" balloons or some sort of predator decoy.

In the long term you might consider planting a mulberry tree or 2 (or more if you have the room), not only will they provide you with tons of mulberries but they will make more berries then you could possibly deal with so the birds may well be distracted by the mulberries.
Penelope
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 54
I think netting is the only sure fire way, i would get a roll of cheapo plastic deer netting, its about $10 for a big roll and if you are careful you can re-use it indefinitely. Other things you might try would be hanging pie plates to spin in the wind or "owl eye" balloons or some sort of predator decoy.

In the long term you might consider planting a mulberry tree or 2 (or more if you have the room), not only will they provide you with tons of mulberries but they will make more berries then you could possibly deal with so the birds may well be distracted by the mulberries.

Thank you Aaron for the recommedations! On some level I knew netting was the potential answer. Thus I will have to purchase it soon. I will look for plastic deer netting. I will certainly consider mulberry though room is an issue.
A former member
Post #: 6
What stores around here sell plastic deer netting? Thanks!
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 206
I tried hanging CDs in my bushes since the flashing was supposed to scare them away. I think the bluejays just stared at their reflections in the CD. It was not very successful. I do have a couple of cats these days so I will let them be outside a lot.

David
Susannah
user 3832381
Portland, ME
Post #: 46
I agree with Aaron - the netting is best. You can get it in Estabrooks or I'm sure any other nursery. It's not expensive, as I recall. We tried that flashing tape stuff - with no success at all. I also got clever and stuck a whole bunch of holographic children's pinwheels into the ground near the blueberries, but again, the birds just scoffed.

One year a bird got caught under the netting somehow and was freaking out AND the neighbor's nemesis cat was nearby, licking his chops and sharpening his claws. I quickly yelled at the cat, freed the poor bird, ate a fistful of berries and anchored down the netting a lot more thoughtfully.

I wonder, how do commercial blueberry growers cope with hungry birds?
Penelope
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 56
I purchased some netting at Paris Farmers Union yesterday. It was $8 for a 14 X 14 net. The aspect of applying netting that I was skeptical about is that birds can eat the berries through the net. What about the net scares them, the fear of getting stuck in the net?

Wow. Your strawberry crop looks beautiful.
Susannah
user 3832381
Portland, ME
Post #: 48
The net keeps them outside of the shrubs. They might hang around and eat what berries are within reach, but will get more frustrated than fed.

We've been gorging on strawberries! Not our own, unfortunately. We picked a lot a week and a half ago at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough - ORGANIC Strawberries!! Hard to find organic ones. They had 3 varieties.
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