I have read in organic gardening magazine about using old panty hose to enclose each piece of fruit. You might check into the use of Kaolin clay which is sprayed on to resist chewing insects like grasshoppers. It may work on birds also, I don't know.
Have you thinned the fruit yet? I thin mine to about 5-6" apart. That would be less fruit to cover and the resulting fruit would be bigger.
Once you get the bird netting over the tree it works well but what a chore. As the branches start growing thru the tree it creates a nightmare.
this might sound like a kindergarten answer to an AP physics question, but how about those blow up snakes and owls that supposedly scare birds off? I have seen an orchard with pie plates hanging in the branches - I guess it is a scare tactic as well!
Good luck! I hope to advance to fruit trees and bushes myself someday!!!
I found the fake owls and snakes and pie tins didn't do the job for me. What about squares of row cover or tuille fabric gathered around and tied with strips of panty hose? If you try the tuille, don't get a color that looks like a food or flower!If you want to consider using bird net, here's what I did for my blackberries, which are on 6" trelilis. I got 20" lenths of PVC pipe from Lowes (this was several years ago. If they no lnoger carry it that long, go to a plumbing supply.) Drive 2" rebar lentgths into the ground half way and put the PVC on them in arcs. Strecth your bird net over the arcs and clamp it on with cheap 'butterfly' hair clamps from the dollar store. The birds can get under the net if you don' t secure it to the ground. This would work well for small trees. If you have full size tress, have you considered building some temporary frames out of electrical conduit? It's pretty inexpensive also. If you build them to be temp, you can take them apart for easy storage. Good luck!
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:41 am Posts: 3 Location: Granbury,TX
Kaolin clay can be found in a product called Surround. You can find this at any organic supplier. I have used this in my commercial orchard. The cost is around $20.00+- per 25 lb bag. Try applying it every 7 to 14 days. Mix 1.5-2 bags/100 gal of water. This will coat and turn the fruit white -keeping it out of sight until it ripens. Surround will also help with insect damage.
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