Thursday, 29 July 2010

I've reminded myself to post the results of this year's anti bird tactics in the fruit garden, after  last night's lovely pudding of Cherries Jubilee ( recipe tomorrow) made with some cherries from the freezer. I should have posted this a few weeks ago when I harvested them but here's my thoughts anyway. The  Buzz Off product, which is a thin plastic line that whirrs in the breeze and frightens away birds has proved useful though not revolutionary. I have found that it has to be used in conjunction with other barrier methods to keep birds off cherry trees, and my plastic bags and bin liners, whilst not aesthetically pleasing, do seem to do the job quite well. I've made a mental note not to put the bags on too early though, as I lost quite a lot of fruit from doing just that, and they either dropped off or rotted. But I still got quite a good crop of sweet cherries from the Stella tree
and also sour cherries from the Morello tree

 where I used only the line as protection, and no bags, since sour cherries are not quite so readily taken by birds as sweet cherries, (although they've stripped the tree bare in the past). So for me a couple of buckets of cherries as opposed to no cherries as in previous years, is a result. And at £3.99 for 30 metres it's well worth a go.

 I have found the Buzz Off line most useful over the strawberry bed, where it can be placed two or three feet above the plants, but I also cover the bed with plastic netting. In previous years I have often found that birds get under the netting,- it's quite annoying to have to rescue a corpulent blackbird who's spent the morning gorging himself on strawberries and can now barely waddle flatulently off down the garden - but I think the Buzz Off line has helped stop this from happening. Although the soft fruit is mostly finished, I still have the lines in place as I'm wondering if they will help to deter pigeons from the winter brassicas that I've just planted out into their final quarters. Once again I will be netting the plants, but I think the lines may have a bit of a belt and braces effect, and frankly anything that helps protect the plants is welcome in my book. I really can't be doing with pigeons, the only ones I like are on a plate with bacon and mushrooms, accompanied by a glass of red wine.
 

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