I imagine my plump, juicy, succulent tomatoes and the harvest I am about to reap! Sadly though, some birds have already spotted them and helped themselves by taking little bites out of each one. My first thought was, get a scarecrow. That may not be enough of a deterrent. We will get back to that.
Ways to keep birds away
We look into some more ways to keep off these birds from destroying your tomatoes, rendering your hard work useless and dampening your spirit. Keep in mind that the birds are not complete enemies. Most times, they are just thirsty.
It is better to have them around as they eat pests such as slugs, snails and harmful insects. Keep control measures as humane and natural as possible.
Build them an alternative little haven
Build them their own kingdom! Well, more of a little haven in from of an alternate garden. Ideally, it should have bird feeders, birdbaths, and some plants to feed on. More specifically, some of the plant types include coneflower and service berry. Check from the local stores and inquire about what works best.
Use the netting technique
Netting the tomatoes is the most appealing and effective alternative. The netting is available at the garden centres. Place the netting over the whole plant thus covering it and preventing birds from being caught up in it. Keep the netting pulled taught because loose netting is asking for the birds to be caught up into or injured.
Ensure to anchor the netting so the birds do not get under it. To be on the safer side and preventing the delicate twigs from breaking, stake them. Use readily available, inexpensive material such bamboo poles or any other that is easy to access. Drape the netting over this framework.
Ensure it reaches the ground with proper anchorage to protect from the wind. Kindly note that the common cheap green netting does not have longevity. It shreds and breaks. This is a hazard to wildlife and the environment. Going to the stores repeatedly is not what we want.
Invest in high quality UV resistant netting that will last years and safe yourself some time and money.
Put up wooden cages mesh
Build wooden cages meshed with chicken wire to protect the tomatoes. You can also invert crates over the tomatoes to keep the birds at bay. Cut out the bottoms of disposable cups and place them over vulnerable seedlings.
Wrap nylon or mesh around fruits to keep tomatoes away from the birds. Place the mesh pined over seedbeds and raised using bricks, boards or bended on hoops as the seedlings grow.
Flashy garden and old CD’s or DVD’s
Make your garden flashy! These are some cost effective methods, which are environmentally friendly. Things that light up, move, spin and reflect easily frighten birds. These include mirrors, chimes, whirligigs and aluminium pie pans. Hang Christmas lights or shiny ornaments on the plants.
Old CDs or DVDs also work great, hung from fishing lines! Invest in vinyl balls with scary faces and secure them to posts around the garden. They are available at garden centres or online. Ensure to move them around occasionally and reintroduce them the next month in different places. Create a web of fishing line or reflective tape over and around the plants.
Technologically sophisticated screeching owls
Technology comes in handy as well. Consider purchasing a sophisticated screech owl. It comes with a microchip that emits the sound of an attacking hawk. In the case that that is out of your budget, plastic decoys or owls and falcons mounted in the garden and moved habitually works great.
About that scarecrow? Birds are not stupid. They will realize that the scarecrow is not going to harm them. So, purchase or build one that can be pulled out and pushed into another section of the garden. Decorate using bright colours. Most especially red and yellow. Change or adjust their clothing and accessories as often as necessary.
Garden spinners with large yellow terror eyes balloon
Garden spinners are great as any sudden movements scare the birds. Make sure they are sturdy and rotated ever so often. Another visual deterrent is mounting the large yellow terror eyes balloon. It has `eyes` printed on it. Mounting it on a spring causes it to bounce and move in the wind.
The eyes startle birds into thinking a predator is watching. A dog if appealing to you will chase off birds keeping them away from your tomatoes. Take approaches taking into consideration the desires and the budget. Consider, and I cannot stress this enough, environmentally friendly measures. Lethal measures such as poison are not recommended.