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Birds eating grapes

 
Lori Crouch
Posts: 104
Location: Amarillo, TX.
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I have a good sized grape vine in my backyard that was attacked by birds this year. As soon as the grapes were the size of a small gumball, they were eaten. I am redoing the backyard next year adding blueberry, raspberry and other fruits. However, I don't want it all to just go to the birds (pun intended). I don't want to buy the fruit nets that I see organic farmers using. What can I plant that will deter them from my fruit? Is there a tea blend that I could put on the fruit as a fertilizer that will deter the birds grazing?

It should also be noted that I'm in a subdivision with the nearest fruit bearing plant at least 3 blocks away. Which, basically makes my yard an all you can eat buffet.

Thanks for the help!
 
Sandra Ellane
Posts: 71
Location: New Mexico high desert Zone 7a, alkaline soils. 9" average annual rainfall.
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Hmmm, here I've been cursing the neighborhood cats that crap in my yard and eat the birds, but after reading your post maybe they have a purpose. Maybe you should plant some catmint to lure the cats? The berry bushes will be low enough that the birds may think twice before risking contact with a cat. Also, the cats can climb the fruit trees. I hate the thought of cats raiding nests, but everything has a trade off I guess.
 
Jeffrey Hodgins
Posts: 166
Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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I have had problems with mocking birds, they pull the corn out to get at the seed and they suck the juice from the bean stalks killing the new plandt
To get rid of them I have to take a day now and then and chase them off with stones every hour all day I also cut the branches that have their nests in them in hopes of atracting other birds once the mocking birds are gone.
Note: Mocking birds are a man made plague, I'm trying to restore balance not kill songbirds
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Planting cat nip in my yard had no effect on the cats in my area, no attraction. However, having places for them to hide and ambush did >

 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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We have lots of birds, and yeah, they eat my figs, but this year, for the first time, we have hawks, owls, etc in clear sight ... and guess what, I have less problems with birds raiding my fruit.

The imbalance will eventually right itself I feel, and then you get the benefit of seeing some of the more flashy birds out there.

I just plant more fruit bearing stuff, and hopefully I get some of it. I am not all that fond of figs, so that works well. I can't let a papaya get too ripe or I am sure to lose it to toucans, but that doesn't bother me much.
 
Sandra Ellane
Posts: 71
Location: New Mexico high desert Zone 7a, alkaline soils. 9" average annual rainfall.
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LOL, I just saw this picture and thought of this thread. It very much made me lol




6086132957_7a10410159_z.jpg
[Thumbnail for 6086132957_7a10410159_z.jpg]
http://cuteoverload.com/2011/11/16/probably-nothing-more-than-rumours/
 
Lori Crouch
Posts: 104
Location: Amarillo, TX.
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Ooooo, I like it! I'll start getting my cats ready for the attack!
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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There is actually a type of grass that cats like much more than catnip, can't remember the name of it tho.

What some fruit tree owners use is just tying some fishing monofilament to branches, think it makes the birds think there are giant spiderwebs, and they don't come back !
 
Ben Stallings
Posts: 151
Location: Emporia, KS
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Lori Evans wrote:I don't want to buy the fruit nets that I see organic farmers using.


Why not? Is it the cost or the appearance that you object to?

I had the same problem with birds last year, and I solved it this year by swaddling my vines with floating rowcover... because I had it already for use in the spring and had no other use for it in the summer. It looked pretty ridiculous (since my vines are on a vertical trellis on the side of my house, visible from the street), but it kept 100% of the birds off, and I got a great crop of grapes. If you're concerned about appearance, a net would be much better looking, and I can't imagine they cost that much compared to losing all your grapes.
 
Lori Crouch
Posts: 104
Location: Amarillo, TX.
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Purely the cost. I am currently living off student loans and won't have an income until (hopefully) this time next year.

We ended up shooting a lot of the birds and killing many with a bb gun during the spring and this kept them off the fruit thus far. However, I did lose a lot of plants to them. Pepper plants were gone as soon as they were 5" tall and several other plants were beaten down just as they began to sprout.
 
Ben Stallings
Posts: 151
Location: Emporia, KS
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I've heard that tinsel can be effective, for a fraction of the cost of nets, and much less work than shooting.
 
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