When Gardening Efforts go to the Birds

When Gardening Efforts go to the Birds

It’s a sign the times, edible backyard gardens are on the rise. In 2008 the garden writers association reported that 39% of people they surveyed with backyards were planning on growing vegetables in the next year. That’s almost double the increase of a typical year. Some are calling these the new “victory gardens” in response to rising food prices, and growing food safety issues.

One of the biggest challenges these gardeners will face are pests. Concerted efforts in the garden can lead to disappointment if pests are not properly addressed on time. It’s no wonder then that pesticides are a garden center staple, many carrying an arsenal of pest control products, solutions for snails, spiders, aphids, deer, you can find it all… but what about pest birds?

It may be hard to image why anyone would want to repel a bird. Birds are one of Mother Nature’s most diverse, intelligent species & inviting birds into garden spaces can be very rewarding. In fact, most centers make sure to stock bird baths, houses, and even bird seed.

But ask a home owner who just lost a substantial amount of the blueberries or cherries they planted, or someone who has trouble keeping birds away from their grass seed, and they will undoubtedly agree; birds are a force to be reckoned with in the garden.

Birds have presented themselves as a formidable garden foe for ages.  In fact the first mention of a “scarecrow” was found in the year 712 in the “Kojiki” known to be the oldest surviving book in Japan.

It’s no surprise then that many backyard gardeners have experienced the disappointment of working hard all season, only to have birds gobble up the fruits of their labor, literally. After tending the soil, planting the seeds, nourishing the plants, and repelling the common pests, birds can swoop in for the prize. The situation is common with many gardeners, and farmers, whether its blueberries, broccoli, ground seed, or other backyard edibles.

So is there relief for the gardeners looking to repel pesky birds? Bird deterrents have come a long way since the scarecrow, but are still rooted in tradition. Visual deterrents remain to be a very effective means of discouraging birds. Along with scare crows, and other visual deterrents like Flash Tape and Diverters, there are many products available to help keep birds away from precious crops.

It is most effective to start treating your edibles right before they ripen. If you are using a visual deterrent, moving, or replacing them with other visual deterrents a few weeks after placing them will give the best results. This helps prevent the birds from getting used to and comfortable with the items. Taking an active roll in discouraging birds, by moving, or using a combination of items will yield the best results.

One such visual deterrent widely used today is a reflective film called Flash Tape, which can be hung, or strung without plants, vines, and trees. The shiny reflective surface and movement of the tape in wind works to scare birds from the area. Flash tape usually comes in rolls anywhere from 50 to 150 feet long, by 1 or 2 inches wide. You can cut strips of the tape and tie them or secure them to your plants. When birds come near the area, the will see the reflective strips, and want to avoid the area. The flash tape can also be tied to poles or stakes set around the garden. Diverters and Balloons are two other visual deterrents that can be hung throughout plants to keep pest birds away.

Netting is also a great way to deter birds from fruit trees, vines, and other edibles. The netting acts as a physical barrier between the birds, and their next free meal. This is perhaps the most effective way to keep your plants safe. There are lightweight plastic mesh nets routinely used by blueberry and cherry farmers. Many people will suspend netting from a series of poles; others will wrap plants in netting to insure that they are protected.

Beyond netting, and visual deterrents, there are also sound deterrents available. Sound deterrents such as the Bird Chase Super Sonic, are weatherproof, and can cover large open spaces. The Bird Chase Super Sonic has the ability to cover between 1-5 acres of land. Sound deterrents use predator calls, and distress calls to deter birds from the area.

With a little planning, protecting a backyard garden from pest birds can be easy and effective. Best of all, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

To find out more information on Bird Control products visit www.absolutebirdcontrol.com.

Meredith Lives and Works in Southern California. She has been in the bird control industry for 8 years. She enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and gardening.

Article from articlesbase.com

When Gardening Efforts go to the Birds

Posted by admin | Posted in Bird Feeders | Posted on 21-01-2011

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