By Sarah Terry
Birds love strawberries, and if you don’t protect your strawberry plants, you won’t have any strawberries left for yourself. You’ll need to take some protective measures to keep birds away from your strawberries. The time to protect your strawberry plants is between April and June, when the fruit begins to swell. The best technique is to cover your strawberry plants with protective netting to prevent the birds from getting to your strawberries. You can purchase protective netting or “bird netting” at most garden stores or online.
Insert four PVC pipes or tall garden stakes into the ground around your strawberry plant. The stakes or pipes should be taller than the plant.
Drape the protective netting over the strawberry plant, ensuring that the netting is propped up and away from the plant by the PVC pipes or stakes. Secure the netting to the stakes or pipes using twine or twist ties.
Secure the netting to the ground around the strawberry plant by staking the netting every 6 inches. Alternatively, you can place rocks on top of the netting where it meets the ground to weight it down.
Cap your garden stakes or PVC pipes with small planter pots to protect the mesh from tearing when you move it.
You can also try hanging aluminum pie tins and strips of aluminum foil around your strawberry plants to scare birds away. Another technique is to leave a radio playing in the garden area with a recording of bird distress calls.
Don’t use protective netting if you cannot check it often. Birds can get trapped in the netting, so you’ll need to inspect the netting every day.
Don’t simply drape the netting over the strawberry plants. If you don’t prop up the netting, the birds will still be able to access the strawberries through the netting.