So spring has arrived, and you’re feeling accomplished! You carefully transplant your young plants out into the garden and sow your seeds into the soil. Days later you come out to find all of your newly planted crops have disappeared! Birds have been eating away at your tiny seedlings faster than they could grow, which devastates your crop.
Let’s explore 10 easy ways you can keep birds from entering your garden:
1. Garden netting: Garden netting is light-weight and easy to install. It is recommended to suspend it over your crops. Not only will netting protect against birds, but it is also great at deterring other small animals. Keep the mesh size small, so that birds can not try to squeeze through and injure themselves or get stuck.
2. Soda bottles: Soda bottles are a cheap, easy, and effective way to protect young seedlings from birds, snails, slugs, etc. Just make sure you vent the top, by removing the cap, otherwise, your young tender plants can get too hot and die.
3. Motion activated sprinklers: Highly effective, these motion activated sprinkler “scarecrows” will deter more than just birds! Water your garden and keep pests away at the same time.
4. Chicken wire: Chicken wire is cheap and versatile. You may already have a roll laying around that you can cut some small pieces from to protect your newly planted crops. You can also use chicken wire to cover a constructed wood frame that can easily be placed over an entire raised bed.
5. Scare Balloons: Most garden centers carry some type of “scare balloon”. They are generally inflatable mylar balloons with large printed eyes on them. Most have reflective material somewhere on the balloon, and often will have “streamer-like” tails.
6. Electronic scarecrows: While motionless electronic scarecrows can be very effective at chasing away birds, it is recommended to move them often.
7. Garden fleece: Garden fabric helps protect young plants from many things, not just birds! Cover your crops to help protect against light freezes, wind, insects while also providing light shade.
8. Plastic predators (owls and toy snakes): Place plastic snakes and owls in and around your garden space. Often birds flying overhead can’t tell the difference between plastic and the real thing! Move them frequently to keep the birds away.
9. CD’s and mirrors: Birds do not like shiny or weirdly reflective objects. Hanging CD’s can play tricks with the light and cast weird shadows.
10. Bird repellent tape: This works very similar to CD’s or mirrors, but can be easier to work with. Simply cut to your desired length, and tie around objects that need protecting. This can be a very effective tool tied around fruit trees or blueberry bushes.