There is nothing more disheartening than having your berries be almost ripe one day, and completely wiped out by birds the very next day. It is amazing how fast birds can pick an entire berry bush clean. The simple solution is to net your berry bushes to keep the birds from getting to your precious berries.
We recently purchased Bird-X brand netting for our berry bushes and fruit trees. There are many types and brands of netting available, and I am not saying the other brands will not work as well. This is just the brand we purchased due to the price and the size (we are rather cheap).
This netting unrolled easily, although with it being 14 feet wide it was handy to have a second person to help unroll it. On many of the reviews of other products I read some customers had complained about it being difficult to unroll out of the package, but this brand was easy to use.
This package contained one net 14 ft x 45 ft. I found it necessary to cut it down to fit each bush, as 45 feet of netting is far more than I needed in any one place. It was easy to cut. Then with an extra pair of hands, we easily held it over the bush and slowly lowered it in place and tucked it in at the bottom.
|The blackberries underneath the netting.|
The only problem we ran into was that the netting would easily get snagged on the bush. It was imperative to get it in the correct position on the first try, as adjusting it was very difficult. I am sure that after the berries have been picked this is going to be an issue when removing the netting, but I do not see how any other netting could alleviate this problem.
As the berries ripen, we simply raise the netting and reach up from underneath and pick our beautiful, full ripe berries. Occasionally, there is a berry stuck in the netting and it takes a few moments to remove the berry from the netting but it is not too difficult.
I think next year we will try building a quick wooden support over the bushes to drape the netting over to help alleviate the snagging of the bush with the netting. But, it has worked wonderfully. We had our small blueberry bush picked clean in one day by birds before we put up the netting. Since then we have not lost a single berry to birds.
|The blueberry bush the birds didn’t decimate.|