Thursday, 20 May 2010

No Wonder The Neighbours Think I'm Bonkers

Can you  spot anything odd at the end of my veg garden?
It may just look like a load of bin liners tied to a cherry tree, but, in fact, it's a load of bin liners tied to a cherry tree for bird protection purposes
Once again, it's  time for this year's instalment of Will Kathy Get Any Cherries Or Not. Last year it was definitely Birds one Kathy nil. At the moment the fruits are no more than hard green marbles, but already they are being stripped from the trees. It does seem early even for the birds, and I am suspicious of squirrel activity. I have been experimenting with live catch squirrel traps, so far without success, but my brother in Wales has had great success with his , so I'm going to persevere, and will let you know how I get on.

But to deter the birds I am using the plastic bag technique as in previous years but I will be keeping a careful watch on them too. I have tied bin liners on the branches with the heaviest crop - I have to admit they do look a bit odd, to say the least, but I am determined to get at least some cherries this year.  

I am also trialling a new product (at least it's new to me) made by Agralan products, who are a local company based near here in Ashton Keynes. They sell quite a few green gardening products, so I was quite keen to give them a try. The product is, Buzz Off  and the idea is to stretch a thin plastic line tautly between two points and when the wind catches it, it makes a noise that birds can't stand, and they fly away, hopefully cherry-less. At first I couldn't get it to make any noise at all, but I soon realised you have to have quite long lengths, around 5 yards/metres for it to work, and eventually I was able to detect a kind of whirring noise a bit like distant helicopters. Presumably birds don't like helicopters.

So having set up the lines last night I went out to check the situation this morning, expecting to feel like an extra on the set of Mash (helicopter background, do keep up...) but surprise surprise, there was no wind, not a breath. Boiling hot day, no wind. The plastic bags seem to be ok so far, and when the wind did eventually blow a bit, the lines did work too. In fact it takes very little breeze to set them going. It would be great if this simple measure really made a measurable difference. I wonder if it would work on the strawberry patch?

 I will report back on how effective these measures are. I really would like to get a few cherries this year...

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