Blueberries are ripening and we are enjoying a small handful every day. What fun to walk in a garden, pick a blueberry and eat it right off the plant. Even if you don’t have a garden spot or wish to grow lots of blueberries, you can plant yourself a blueberry bush in your backyard or even in a patio container. If you need, or like, having some kind of hedge plant, consider blueberry bushes. They are green all summer and have in the fall lovely orange and red leaves. And in the summer you can eat fresh fruit from your hedge!
I just happen to be a bit obsessed with blueberries as my children tell me; I have 50 young plants growing now. They ask me what I will do with so many blueberries. “Wouldn’t that be a nice problem”, I reply. The plants I have are all young and it will be a few years before they reach 4 and 5 feet high and produce “tons” of blueberries. If that ever happens and I have too many berries to freeze, make jam, give to family and friends, I would sell to local markets.
But, in the meantime I’m greedy with the small amounts I am getting from young but fruitful plants. The many birds in my garden, especially the mockingbirds, and I are in competition for blueberries. Why should they reap the fruits of my labor? I do love birds and invite them into my garden, except to eat blueberries. My first attempt to keep them away was bird netting. That was a problem because the leaves and twigs from the berry plants got tangled in the netting and hard to access the berries. Then, I heard about bird scare tape and bought some from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.
At first I tied the tape onto a berry branch but when the wind blew it would tangle the tape into the branches and berries. Keeps the birds away no doubt but I didn’t like the tangled mess.
My next idea was to put in some staking rods here and there along the rows. I tie the tape to an end rod and pass it through a couple more rods to the other end of the row, twisting the tape loosely a couple of times so it really looks flashy with its red and silver color in the sunlight and wind. The slightest breeze ruffles the tape and apparently does its job of scaring away birds from the berries.