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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Save Your Strawberries From the Birds

*waves from the hills*
We, recently, went to a farm where they grow 200 varieties of irises. (First 3 are pics from my phone, sorry.)

I bought several,  but I especially liked these purple ones called Royal Crusader. I wish I’d taken pictures of the farm because it was beautiful on the way back to the hill where these were planted, but I didn’t think they’d appreciate that. If you are near Maryville, TN and love irises you may want to visit Ferguson’s Iris as they have so many to choose from and charge only $2 for them.


We had gone to see the granddaughters and one of them showed me a nest that some barn swallows built on the underside of a utility trailer. That’s horse hair hanging down from the muddy nest.

Here’s the source of the hair. o.O I’ve watched birds pluck fur from a dog’s back so I reckon horses are fair game, too.

In my last post I mentioned that we had to do some preventive maintenance in order to save our strawberries. I had left several berries on the plants to ripen fully, but when I went to pick them - look at that strawberry eaten to a nub!

The Culprit. I saw this robin and a mockingbird leave the raised beds every time I looked out at the them. Cheeky isn’t he.

Goodman cut some small rebar posts in 3 sections ea., for 16 in. posts and put them in the beds to hold 1/2 in. plastic pipe in place as a frame. He used 10 pieces per bed, and they stand up about 4 inches above the soil level in the beds. The pipe was cut long enough to arch over the beds and simply placed over the posts.

We then covered the plastic piping with bird/wildlife netting.  The netting and pipe he bought at Lowe's Home Improvement Center.  The spaces in the netting are just under an inch square, big enough for the insects that pollinate the flowers to go in and out easily but too small for the birds to enter. Yay!

We used small plastic wire ties to hold the netting in place. It’s workin’.

Robin = 5 berries,  Us = 2 bowls full, so farWinking smile
Have a great week, Y’all. 

Participating in Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop,  The Art of Home-Making Mondays


  1. laughing at the robin war (although i'm sure it is frustrating). those irises are gorgeous!

  2. What a really creative way to get the birds from eating those lovely looking and yummy strawberries.

    Those Iris are very lovely.. Mine are not blooming yet. Hugs Judy

  3. Hi, Toni! The irises are beautiful! That is so funny that the bird used horse hair for its nest. I bet those birds were surprised when they came back for more strawberries. I love your beds and your berries look delicious. I can't wait until we start picking.

    Hope you're having a great week.


  4. I love the horse hair nest. I bet the birds didn't even have to pluck those. Horses shed those longs hairs just like people. The hairs were probably just laying around in the barnyard :-). Sounds like the birds are definitely trying to run the place. They must know about those pretty pictures you posted online of them. It's gotten their egos puffed up.

  5. Haha, that's some smart robin! But I can't blame him, strawberries are way too tasty. ;-)

    Spring here is coming to an end (finally!). Soon I will be able to go out without that much sneezing... and be able to burn myself under the summer sun!

  6. What a lovely diversion reading your post, from a leisurely walk among the beautiful iris plants to a zoology exhibit and lastly some spice with the robin heist. Tennessee looks like a lovely place to be.

  7. Aw, rats~ I hate that about your strawberries! I had a couple of plants last year that kept mysteriously "losing" their berries... it was my doggone chickens! *sigh* Hope your netting keeps the culprits away.
    I'll have to look up Fergusons... we are going Townsend for a picnic this weekend!

  8. Aha! I love what Goodman did! We can do that too, I think :) What an excellent idea! last year we had a mother robin feeding her big fat baby robin for hours!!! Every time we left, they gorged themselves! So now I wonder can we get shot pieces of rebar or a substitute! Thanks so much!!

  9. Birds are very creative.....but frutstraiting. Great solution to your problem!

  10. We are currently working to cover our strawberries, too :) Pesky, hungry birds~Ha!

  11. Thanks so much for the great post on creating a hoop house on top of your raised beds.. I have 8 4x12 beds and have been thinking of making a few of them hoop houses for starting seeds early...Great info here... Thanks so much for sharing at Dandelion House...You did great! :)

  12. The irises are so beautiful. I'd love to see that farm!

    I'm having a problem with birds and my strawberries, too. I don't have a covering as pretty as yours, though. I love that. Goodman does things right! Something is now plundering through my lettuce and radishes. I'm going to have to get some Liquid Fence spray, I guess. After I figure which varmint is doing the plundering. ha It's either a rabbit or a ground squirrel, I'd think.

  13. Your garden covering looks almost easy enough for me to do it--thanks for the instructions!

    I'd like to invite you to share this post and up to two others at our From the Farm Blog Hop, which is live right now. Your style of blog posts would fit right in with the wonderful posts that are shared!

    From the Farm Blog Hop

    Hope to see you there!
    ~Kristi@Let This Mind Be in You

  14. We just bought some netting for our various berry plants, but have not covered them yet. This may give some inspiration on the structure to use. Thanks for sharing. I'd love for you to share with us over at The HomeAcre Hope.

  15. So our netting is over our berries now, but the birds got one of the blueberry bushes before we got out there. :(

    Thanks for sharing!

    Please join us again Thursday at:


  16. Thanks for linking this one up! It can be so sad to see your hard work fly away. I wonder if something like this would work for corn??? Also, what name do you go by? I feel weird calling you Magnoliasntea all the time!? :)


Thank you for your comments!