I've spent the best part of a year watching my cherry trees grow. As summer approached, I trudged up the hill to watch the cherries ripen, twice a day. After seeing what birds can do I became as protective of my fledgling cherries as Smeagol with the ring. My theory was that if I kept a close enough eye on them, I'd be able to get in before the birds, right?
Flaw in my plan: birds don't have to go to work. I do. The little sods got them one day while I was gone.
No cherry preserves for ME this Christmas!
That is so frustrating, Joe. I wonder how commercial growers approach that problem?
We netted our small blueberry bust this year but that is less than 6 feet / 2 metres tall. It did pay dividends. Also, I have just seen an ad in one of the Sunday newspapers for a device to protect our pond from the dreaded heron who consumed all our stock two years ago. http://www.netfloat.co.uk
Never knowingly underfed
Finally something I know about. we have a few cherry trees, which are in huge terracotta pots. We are therefore able to move them so we can net them together.
We tend to let the birds have the very top few cherries. We throw nets over the top of all the trees and then stake it to the ground. in a fanned out style. We have had great success with this. We have also changed our style of grape growing as in our previous home we had them trained on a south facing wall on wires. the birds thought this was a feasting table laid on by us for them to gorge on.
We now have vines growing over a pagola, this then by the weight of gravity, makes them hang down below the cross beams, making it pretty impossible to the blighters to eat them, unless on the wing.
We prune all our trees as per our many gardening books and have seen a year on year gorw in yeald. this also makes them managable for us to net and tend to.
p.s. no need to comment on the terracotta pots, they are lined with black bin liners so the moisture doesnt even reach the pot, to be absorbed and evaporated. Holes in the bottom for drainage. No wastage on my watch. I also read on a forum somewhere about trying things in the branches to stop the birds. But I think my nets work just fine.
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