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Getting a fair share of crops!

GrumpymumGrumpymum Oxfordshire Posts: 74
Sunny spots are at a premium in my garden, due to it being NE facing and surrounded by trees, so I have planted soft fruit amongst the flowers.These have been growing well and I was looking forward to a nice summer pudding, however before the berries were quite ripe the birds and squirrels have robbed nearly  all of them!

How can I discourage them so that I can get a fair share of my crops? I don't really want to net them as it would be awkward and unsightly,  as well as  not very wildlife friendly. 

I've also planted some Cavolo Nero and red cabbages amongst the flowers. Does anyone have any tips for deterring the dreaded cabbage white butterflies?

Posts

  • PlashingPlashing Posts: 238
    You could try fleece,or very fine mesh curtain cut it to just drape over a few canes around your plants
  • HouseFinchHouseFinch British Columbia, Canada (Zone 5)Posts: 325
    I have onions surrounding one of my strawberry patches, and aside from a single fruit being singled out by ants, it is working really well. Our blueberries are netted though. 
    Pretty sure the only way to protect them is to invent some kind of frame & netting. You could build something with ornaments on the top to make it less unsightly?
  • HouseFinchHouseFinch British Columbia, Canada (Zone 5)Posts: 325
    An ornamental bird cage (from a decor shop) with the bottom popped out would take care of the unsightliness problem perhaps?
  • GrumpymumGrumpymum Oxfordshire Posts: 74
    Thanks HouseFinch. I have elephant garlic next to some of my strawberries but it doesn't seem to have deterred the little blighters.

    I'll have to see if I can get creative  with some netting. Or maybe replace more flowers with some more fruit and hope there'll be enough for us all to get a share.
  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 802
    I can't think that anything but a physical barrier such as netting will keep birds off. I know it's nice to think of sharing the crops with wildlife, but in practical terms they start pulling off fruit that isn't quite ripe, and pecking at random berries so they're no use to you. I am a bit of a "Little Red Hen" when it comes to my crops - I bought, planted and tended the plants, so they're MINE! If I do find half-chewed or slightly damaged berries, I fling them on to the lawn, in the hope that the birds will find them without being encouraged to find the rest.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 3,224
    I sympathize with you @Grumpymum as I have a similar problem with strawberries,  the blackbirds get them before ever they are ripe. This year alot of them self planted in my raised bed, but I decided to leave them as it's been a struggle to get any before the birds in the past, but they have already started taking chunks out of the fruit, so I have netted the whole bed ( the bedding plants are short enough to do this) hopefully this will mean at least some for me.🙄
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