Fridays are tip days at SimpleProductivity blog.
My berry bushes are the one thing I can grow. I currently have two blueberries, and six thornless blackberries. The bushes produce a decent amount of fruit — when I can get it before the birds. To solve the problem we created bird screens.
Year 1: Blueberry Screens
My compact blueberry bushes reside in two self-watering pots on our deck. They will not grow very large, so my husband constructed cages that fit over the bushes using PVC and some netting. We tie the screens to hooks on the deck to keep them from flying around and the birds from getting under them.
Year 1: Blackberry Screens of Canes and Net
Last year I decided that the blackberries were of a size and shape that we didn’t need frames to hold the netting. So I put some bamboo canes into the ground at various angles and threw netting over the plants and canes. This wasn’t a good approach at all. The blackberries poked through the netting, and the birds got in (and got caught) with the canes. I ended up having to cut the net away in some places, and in others cut the blackberry canes, just to get the netting off.
Year 2: Blackberry Screens
This year I’ve decided to modify the PVC approach of the blueberry screens. We took four 10-foot sections of PVC pipe and pushed the ends over stakes we had pushed into the ground. They are connected at the top by a PVC t-joint. This gave us four legs, which were covered in netting tied with wire ties. The bottoms are weighted down with garden rocks.
These two workable solutions have enabled us to keep the fruit we are growing without sharing too much with the birds.