help with strawberry cover

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by kathrynlmv, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    Does anybody know any free (or virtually free) cover to use to protect strawberries from the birds? Last year out of desperation and poverty I robbed my fabric boxes for some ballerina tulle( the netting they use for tutus) and pinned it to the worked rather well, but by the end of the season, it just rotted in my hands. Thanks......Kathrynlmv
  2. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Where in PA are you?

    Do you have a lot of string around? Nylon rope that comes on bales of straw? If you made hoops with coat hanger wire, and strung the cord back and forth, that might discourage them. You would want to make the string close enough together that the birds would get all caught up in it.

    There is a pretty sturdy bird netting that comes in pkgs, relatively inexpensive, that could fill the bill.

  3. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    We used remay from Gardens Alive at first. Toward the end of the season the birds didn't seem to be eating the berries if we got there first. There seemed to be plenty of foliage to cover the berries.
  4. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2004
    Expensive bird mesh is only one way to scare off the flying critters.

    I have far too many veggies growing at one time to ever be able to afford bird mesh to protect them all.

    So I borrowed a technique that car dealerships use. Notice how almost all car dealerships have those strings of multi-colored, pennant shaped flags criss-crossing their outdoor car lots?

    That scares the birds away. Helps to keep the birds from dropping "do-do" onto those shiny, expensive new cars they're trying to sell.

    I strung a 100 foot stand of those flags diagonally across my vegetable field last year, about two or three feet above the height of the crops. A mail order place called Oriental Trading has these strings of flags for about six or seven bucks, plus shipping. Party City wants about double that, but there's no shipping costs.

    Plus I got one of those plastic owls at WalMart for about six dollars or so, and an inflatable snake for a similar price.

    I'd move the plastic owl and the snake each and every day, so that their "activity" would look more normal to the neighborhood birds.

    The combination of flags, plus the owl, plus the snake worked beautifully. I'd see the birds all around -- everywhere, that is, except near my garden.

    Best part about this method is that, unlike the bird mesh (which I had to replace every year back when I still used it, cuz it always seemed to get stuck to stuff and tear), the flags, owl and snake can be used year after year after year.

    Well, actually, the flags and the owl can be used year after year. My first inflatable snake flew away when a freak storm pushed sustained 103 mph straight line winds over a 50 mile radius back two summers ago. In face of 100 plus per hour winds, my first inflatable snake "developed wings," and I never saw it again.
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    We used the net wraping that comes on round hay bales. Not all round bales are wraped with it, but it is taken off and thrown away when the bales are fed. If you are near a farm that has them you might see if they would let you have some, or better yet get some new right off the roll that they use in their balers. It should be inexpensive for a small amount that can also work well to keep birds out of blueberries and small cherry trees.