Table of contents:
- How to protect your strawberry crop from birds?
- How to protect strawberries: mesh and cover material
- Boxes with mesh lids
- How can you scare the birds?
- What to plant for distraction?
- Other ways to protect berries
- Reviews of gardeners
Video: Important Rules On How To Protect Strawberries From Birds + Video
How to protect your strawberry crop from birds?
Strawberries (or more precisely, garden strawberries) are grown by gardeners and gardeners wherever the climate permits. This is a delicious berry. Unfortunately, both humans and birds are aware of this. Starlings, blackbirds, sparrows, magpies, and even crows will gladly feast on both ripe and unripe berries. Summer residents, especially those who do not live on the site permanently, have nothing left. Therefore, it is important to know what can be done to protect the strawberry crop.
1 How to protect strawberries: mesh and cover material
- 1.1 Video: how to fix the covering material on the garden bed?
- 1.2 Video: net for protecting strawberry beds
- 2 Boxes with mesh lids
3 How can you scare the birds?
3.1.1 Video: how to make a scarecrow?
- 3.2 Noise
- 3.3 Color and gloss
- 3.4 Special devices
- 3.5 Video: how to scare birds away
- 4 What to plant for distraction?
- 5 Other ways to protect berries
- 6 Reviews of gardeners
How to protect strawberries: mesh and cover material
The most common solution is to cover the strawberry beds with netting or covering material. All this can be purchased at construction, agricultural stores or on the Internet. Plastic, polypropylene or metal mesh with diamond-shaped, rectangular and square-shaped cells does not interfere with the access of plants to sunlight and moisture, as well as the process of insect pollination of strawberries.
The net for the beds is presented in the stores in the widest range
Breathable opaque covering material (Lutrasil, Spunbond, Agril, Agrospan) provides a greenhouse effect. The birds do not see the berries, therefore, and do not seek to get to the garden. But pollination in a natural way is impossible in this case. Without the sun, strawberry bushes grow poorly, berries ripen longer, and the yield decreases. With excessive watering, plantings may rot.
Covering material allows you to hide crops from birds
Closing the bed, pegs are driven in at intervals of 45-50 cm around the perimeter, onto which the material is attached so that it descends to the ground. There it also needs to be fixed, for example, with bricks. They are pulled quite tight so that the net does not sag in the center. The height of the structure is 15–20 cm higher than the strawberry bushes.
Video: how to fix the covering material on the garden bed?
Indeed, it is problematic for the birds to get to the berries in this case, but the solution is not without drawbacks:
- It is necessary to find a sufficiently dense fine-mesh mesh. Regular fishing will not work. Birds freely enter the cells. If the mesh is too thin, it will simply be torn apart. Therefore, finding the right material can take a lot of time and effort.
- The price of the issue. If you have a small plot and 1-2 beds, you shouldn't even think about it. And those who grow strawberries on an industrial scale must purchase covering material and a net in hundreds of square meters. It turns out pretty expensive.
- Planting care is significantly complicated. It is also impossible to walk through the garden, picking a couple of berries along the way. With any weeding, loosening, fertilizing, watering, harvesting, the mesh and material must be removed, and then the garden bed must be covered again. Such frequent use dramatically shortens the life of the material - holes are formed, which are immediately expanded by birds.
- Birds that see mouth-watering berries do not consider the netting to be a major hindrance. Trying to get to them by all means, they get entangled and get stuck so that they cannot free themselves from the cells without assistance. People have to help. Birds do not appreciate this and bite painfully.
- An important factor is aesthetic. A net just thrown over the beds looks very sloppy. So, you need to think about how to fix it beautifully. This means additional expenditure of effort, time and money.
A net stretched over the beds makes it difficult to properly care for strawberries and harvest
The purchase of a set of special frame arcs made of metal, plastic or bamboo can partially neutralize the disadvantages. They are quite lightweight so no foundation is required. Their number depends on the length of the bed. The optimal distance between the arcs is 60–80 cm. They must be installed and the mesh must be fixed on top - you should get a structure resembling a section of a tunnel. If you find high enough arcs, you can go inside, like in a greenhouse or greenhouse. This greatly facilitates plant maintenance and harvesting. But the beds are very narrow.
When fruiting is over, the mesh is removed and the frame is dismantled until next year.
Therefore, the best solution is a mesh made of plastic, fine-mesh (so that birds do not get confused), rather rigid (so as not to sag), fixed on frame arcs. Separate pieces will be needed to cover the resulting "tunnel" from the ends. Otherwise, the design loses all meaning.
If you decide to use the net and arch method, the birds will not be able to reach the strawberries, and it will be convenient for you to care for the beds.
Video: net for protecting strawberry beds
Boxes with mesh lids
Another option for protecting strawberries with a net is devoid of the listed disadvantages, but requires certain practical skills. If you have experience in carpentry or carpentry, construct boxes with mesh lids for planting.
The algorithm of actions is as follows:
- Choose boards of suitable length and width.
- Assemble a wooden box with cross bars every 60–80 cm, fastening the boards with screws and corner bars. You don't need to make it very high - ventilation worsens, the berries do not have enough sun. It is enough that the future cover does not touch the landings. Other parameters are determined by the size of the beds.
- Attach legs of short bars to the box in each corner, sharpening them from below. If the bed is very long, you will need additional legs on the long side. Since the legs will be driven into the ground, treat the tree with a special compound to prevent rotting. You can just burn them.
- Place the box on the garden bed and drive the legs into the ground, gently tapping the corners with a hammer.
- Protect the structure from the negative effects of natural factors - rain, snow, cold, wind. A primer will help with this. It is sold in hardware stores, but the self-prepared composition is no worse. 1 kg of slaked lime must be diluted in 2 liters of water and add 100 g of shavings of laundry soap. All this is thoroughly mixed and filtered immediately before processing the boards.
- Based on the dimensions of the resulting sections, assemble the frames for the covers from thin bars.
- Attach the covers to the frame with hinges installed from the outside so that it opens outward.
- Cut out pieces of mesh of the required size and fasten it with staples using a furniture stapler, bent small studs, thin slats.
- Attach a handle, hinge or something else to each lid that allows it to be freely opened.
The beds in boxes look very neat and well protected
How can you scare the birds?
Any popular methods are not very useful. In the first few days, the effect may be noticeable, but birds are smart and quickly figure out what they are dealing with. Having discovered that no real danger comes from something terrible in appearance, they boldly continue to destroy your berries.
Birds, flying into the garden in flocks, can destroy your crop in a couple of days.
Therefore, the methods described below should be alternated and combined as often as possible. Only in this way will you achieve a more or less permanent result.
The "grandfather's" method has been used since time immemorial. Currently, the classic stuffed animal of two cross-shaped poles or boards, dressed in old clothes stuffed with straw, with a bag representing the head, is practically not used for quite obvious reasons. The birds are not in the least afraid of him. On the contrary, on the "shoulders" of this structure, they are happy to relax after a delicious lunch. It is also an excellent position to look out for the most delicious and ripe berries.
But your children will get great pleasure from the process of building a scarecrow. For them, this is a great occasion to show imagination and creativity. You can use, for example, an old mannequin as a base.
If you do decide to protect your garden with a scarecrow, regularly move it from place to place and change its appearance. The more radical the better. It is also useful to secure the structure so that it rotates on the support.
Scarecrow is a traditional, but ineffective method of scaring away birds
Plastic and rubber naturalistic models of birds of prey, made in compliance with dimensions and proportions, sold in agricultural stores are somewhat more effective. Especially if they are "decorated" with something shiny and a device for reproducing and recording the sounds made by these birds is attached to them.
An electrified dummy equipped with a motion sensor, which would start making sounds when birds approach and, for example, waving "arms", would greatly help gardeners and gardeners. But the introduction of such structures into production is a matter of the future. And the price will be appropriate. On small household plots, such a "scarecrow" simply does not pay off.
Video: how to make a scarecrow?
The hearing of birds is much more subtle than that of humans. Therefore, they do not tolerate sharp loud sounds. Try to save the beds like this:
- Stretch several threads or thin wires over them and hang cans close to each other at different heights. A more aesthetic option is “wind chime”. At the slightest breath, the cans and tubes will sway and bump against each other, making a noise. But you will have to endure it too. This is especially "happy" in the late night or early morning. And every day to remove the cans and hang back will quickly get bored. In addition, the wind does not always blow.
- Every day, turn on special audio recordings reproducing the cries of birds of prey or the cries of feathered "pests", signaling relatives about the danger. They are sold in gardening stores and online. If you want to save money, just turn on the radio loudly. However, this soundtrack will most likely not please your neighbors.
Color and shine
High posts are driven in at the corners of the beds. A thin rope or wire is stretched along the perimeter and crosswise at different heights. They hang on it:
- Old CDs and DVDs. Oscillating under the gusts of wind, they reflect the sun's rays, discarding "bunnies". But in cloudy weather, the birds hardly pay attention to them.
- Unnecessary Christmas tree decorations, "rain" and tinsel, ordinary foil, as well as polyethylene or cellophane cut into "fringe". In this case, the beds look elegant and festive. But if you overdo it with "jewelry", it is almost impossible to look after them.
- Tape extracted from audio or video cassettes. It can be hung in the form of a fringe and additionally pulled tight around the perimeter, surrounding the garden bed several times. The tape not only shines and moves, but also makes a rattling sound unpleasant for birds at the slightest breath. It is almost on the verge of ultrasound, therefore it is almost inaudible for a person.
- Bandages, white ribbons, flags and balloons filled with helium. It is believed that birds do not like white and are afraid of it. The balls can be made even more intimidating by painting something that resembles an eye on them with red, blue or black paint.
- Homemade turntables from plastic bottles. The plastic reflects light, and the structure rotates in the wind. It can be an effective addition to your garden decor.
Birds quickly realize that all this shine and rustle does not carry any real danger.
Old discs hanging over the garden glare in the sun, scaring away birds
Science does not stand still, so special devices that scare away birds have appeared on sale. Most often they are equipped with a built-in infrared or laser motion sensor, therefore they turn on only when the landing of birds approaches.
The devices emit high-range sounds unpleasant for birds, indistinguishable to the human ear
The device is equipped with a motion sensor
There are also devices that periodically emit loud, sharp sounds, reminiscent of the howl of a siren, pops or shots. Sometimes this is complemented by blinking or glowing. On some, you can adjust the frequency and volume of the sound.
The sound cannon emits loud sounds when birds approach
Such devices are certainly effective, but they are quite expensive. Therefore, the owners of small household plots do not even consider the possibility of such an acquisition. The harvest is not worth it, there are less costly methods to protect it.
Video: how to scare birds away
What to plant for distraction?
Gardeners sympathetic to Greenpeace, IFAW and other wildlife groups can offer the birds an alternative food source.
A row of strawberry beds is planted with berries that ripen at about the same time as strawberries, the loss of a crop of which will upset you less. It can be bird cherry, sea buckthorn, irga, black and red mountain ash, wild cherry. The method does not guarantee anything. Birds are not obligated to eat only the berries intended for them. It is very likely that they will destroy both them and the strawberries. But not a single bird will suffer. Even morally, seeing the berries and not being able to get to them.
Other ways to protect berries
Cats in the garden will help you deal with uninvited guests
How else can you protect a harvested crop?
- The easiest way is to increase the planting area. So there will be enough berries for both the birds and you. But far from all summer residents are ready to share with the "freeloaders" the harvest, on the cultivation of which so much time, effort and resources have been spent. In fact, almost no one is ready, except for some fanatical nature lovers.
- Get a cat, and preferably several. Or at least periodically lure neighbors or stray animals to you. To do this, you can, for example, plant valerian. Hunting, as a rule, turns out to be ineffectual, but the very fact of the presence of natural enemies on the site will make the birds be less arrogant. A significant disadvantage is that animals who are carried away by the process of catching birds can greatly trample the beds. And not only with strawberries. In addition, the presence of wild cats and small children at the same time on the site means the need for constant surveillance of them by their parents.
- Birds of prey (hawks, falcons) are much better and more effective than cats. Crows are also useful in this sense. They do not trample the beds and do not eat strawberries. Before visiting your site, a flock of birds sends "scouts" ahead. They will certainly inform the others about those who protect your plantings, and will fly around the beds on the tenth road. However, keeping one bird of prey is more expensive than a dozen cats.
- Arrange a small stream, a waterfall next to the strawberry plantings, put a decorative fountain. Hearing in birds is much sharper than in humans, they will certainly be attracted by the coolness and murmuring water. There is a chance that, when flocking to the water source, they will ignore the beds. But nothing prevents them from resting in a pleasant place, then destroying your harvest.
- Spread the sliced onions or onion feathers into the strawberry beds. Birds hate this smell very much. The downside is that you have to endure it too. In addition, berries can absorb the smell.
- Before the strawberries ripen, scatter bright red wooden cubes, plastic bottle caps, and so on in and around the beds. The birds will try to peck them up and make sure it is inedible. When the berries are ripe, the birds, remembering that there is nothing edible here, will pay less attention to your beds.
- Option for the careless and strong in spirit. Find a dead bird somewhere, bring it to your own plot and hang it next to the strawberry beds. This will help you get rid of birds not only for this season, but also for the next few years. It looks rather unaesthetic, not at all decorating the rural pastoral, and the smell is appropriate.
- Unfolding poisonous baits on the site or total shooting of birds. An extremely unfortunate decision even if you have the appropriate skills to exclude accidental hitting of relatives, guests and neighbors, and there are no pets that can also be poisoned. Few people think about this, but in addition to the visible harm in the form of destroying the harvest, birds bring significant benefits to the garden. In addition to berries, they feed on insect larvae and weed seeds. Now you have to fight them. By destroying the birds, you will deprive insects of natural enemies, increasing their population at times, and also doom yourself to endless weeding. This will require even more time and effort.
Reviews of gardeners
Fighting birds for your own harvest is an energy-consuming and time-consuming task. Most of the methods discussed are not without drawbacks. As the most effective, it is possible to note the closing of the beds with a net on frame arches, boxes with covers and special scarers.
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