protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Out by the shed, near the chicken coop. The place everyone hangs out to discuss the various edibles they raise in their gardens/allotments.

protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Postby Herbidacious » April 30th, 2017, 8:17 am

I was wondering if anyone does anything to stop the birds getting at things, and if so do you have any advice?

I have two dwarf cherries that have flowered for the first time this year, so I may get a very little fruit, which I am not keen to share with, well anyone or anything, really (although may let husband have one :) ) and some jostaberries, the fruit of which all disappeared one day last year. Plus other things that seem less susceptible - gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries (?) black, red and white currants (?)

Some people seem to advise just chucking netting over the plants and tieing up at the bottom. Others - netting with frames, which are obviously more expensive.

Any advice would be most gratefully received.
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Re: protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Postby suffolk » April 30th, 2017, 8:28 am

I've not had a problem with birds getting our fruit (so far) and I do nothing other than stick a few Seaside Windmills in the ground around the gooseberries and black currants as the fruit ripens .............. other gardeners swear by draping the bushes with old net curtains as the fruit ripens.
The place where I used to work had large cherry trees and the main fruit thieves were wood pigeons who took the cherries well before they were ripe ... presumably they'd be to heavy to perch in your cherry trees?
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Re: protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Postby Suelle » April 30th, 2017, 8:32 am

We build temporary frames for our gooseberries, with canes and rubber joints (which you can buy from garden centres) under the netting, otherwise the fruit will disappear overnight if you haven't picked before the blackbirds think they are ripe. We put it on about three weeks before I think the fruit will be ripe - about mid-June in our case.
There's some photos here:
https://mainlybaking.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... umble.html

We have plum tree growing flat against a wall, which we thought we would need to protect this year, as the birds got some of the fruit last year - which was it's first fruiting year; however there was no blossom this year, so that's put off the problem a while.

We're growing blueberries for the first time this year - I need to check if they are susceptible to being taken by birds.
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Re: protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Postby StokeySue » April 30th, 2017, 8:58 am

That's exactly what my Dad used to do Suelle, except we used to tie bean poles together with string, we had a massive bird population and would have had no fruit if we hadn't netted.
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Re: protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Postby Herbidacious » April 30th, 2017, 10:24 am

Thank you all. I actually hadn't thought the birds would go for the gooseberries at all.
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Re: protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Postby earthmaiden » April 30th, 2017, 10:27 am

Feeling glad that I don't get many birds in the garden now! I have had both gooseberries and blueberries for some years and so far, nothing has eaten them.
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Re: protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Postby Herbidacious » April 30th, 2017, 10:34 am

I may post a pic of the trees. They are still very small so maybe a net 'jacket' will do. I was just skeptical as thought maybe if the netting is not off the plant, the birds could just peck through it.
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Re: protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Postby suffolk » April 30th, 2017, 11:54 am

Our gooseberries are a dessert variety so we pick half of them for jam while they're still firm and full of pectin and this thins them out, then leave the rest to fatten up and really ripen ... that's when blackbirds love them ... but so far the windmills seem to work :D
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Re: protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Postby StokeySue » April 30th, 2017, 11:55 am

I don't think they like alighting on the netting Herbi
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Re: protecting fruit (trees and bushes)

Postby Herbidacious » April 30th, 2017, 1:54 pm

I have just been down the garden and am wondering if it's already pretty much too late for some of the fruit bushes. I noticed that the blackcurrant and jostaberries only have a few (green) fruit lower down. Birds got the top ones? I don't know. I usually get a fair few redcurrants from the bushes that were here when we moved in, but perhaps I would get a lot if I netted. There is nothing at all on one of the jostaberries, which is galling as they are big bushes with no value other than fruit (and even that's debatable!) Maybe I should just the whole bottom half of the garden ;)

Operation cherry trees may be urgent now, as I have a few tiny green cherries!

I have bird scaring strips on order. May go and get some netting tomorrow. (Poor husband. That will make two garden centre trips in two days.) Might get some windmills too, Suffolk :)
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