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Keep birds away: How can you harmlessly protect fruits and vegetables in your kitchen garden from feathered friends?

When you take a look around your yard, you’ll usually see a few birds lurking nearby. In many ways, these creatures are a welcome addition to your outdoor space because they can also feed on unwanted pests. But there are also some drawbacks to allowing birds to roam freely in your yard: The birds nibble on the fruits and vegetables, dig holes in the ground in pursuit of worms and larvae, and eat pollinators. If you want to keep birds out of these greens and protect your fruits and vegetables in the garden, here are some good tips.

Keep birds away with plant protection netting

Keep birds away with plant protection netting - tips for your kitchen garden

Creating barriers with garden netting is probably the most effective way to keep birds away. Plant protection netting protects plants from hungry wildlife, but beneficial insects like honeybees can still get through to pollinate them.

Keep birds away - Protect your fruits and vegetables - Tips.

Be careful, though!

It is very important to be careful and attentive when using nets. Always pull nets tight, as loose nets are an invitation for animals to get caught in them. Standard bird nets (with holes larger than 1 cm) can be the most dangerous for wildlife. Animals can get caught in such nets because they can more easily stick a snout, head, beak or leg through them. Rather, abandon green nets and find, for example, a blue fine net, which is better for birds. This will also protect your plants from other pests such as cherry fruit flies , aphids, bugs and others.

You should also invest in high quality UV resistant netting that will last for years. The usual cheap green netting is not durable – it tears and breaks and poses a danger to wildlife and the environment.

Protect kitchen garden from birds with garden fleece

Protect kitchen garden from birds - garden fleece

Garden fleece is often used to protect plants from frost during the cold months, but it can also be used year-round to protect smaller plants from birds. Lay the fine, white material over your chard and lettuce to discourage neighborhood birds from harvesting your vegetables before you have the chance. Weigh down the sides with rocks or stakes and roll back the fleece when it’s time to harvest.

Scare birds away with reflective objects

Keep birds away and protect vegetables and fruit with reflective objects

Shiny objects deter birds, so any reflective surface can serve as a repellent. You can use a variety of household items: old CDs, cake pans, shiny ribbons of aluminum foil, and reflective tape.

Wind chimes in the kitchen garden

Wind chimes in the kitchen garden - protect fruits and vegetables from birds

Items that make sudden sounds or movements, such as wind chimes, can be very effective and practical bird deterrents. If you want to use wind chimes to deter native birds, you should place them in your garden, because they won’t do much on your patio, away from the action. If you can find wind chimes made of metal or some other shiny, reflective material, they’ll be even more effective. There are also electronic ultrasonic devices designed to scare away birds that are not even perceived by the human ear.

Plastic predators and toy snakes

Plastic predators and toy snakes in the garden - keep birds away

Some gardeners swear by placing a plastic owl or hawk in their garden. For the best effect, move the decoy back and forth in the garden so that it looks like a bird of prey that is in different places. If the decoy moves or makes sounds, all the better. Another decoy you can use is plastic snakes. Lay them out in your garden beds to scare birds and animals.

Keep birds away: Build a scarecrow

Keep birds away - Build scarecrows

Scarecrows work if they are moved regularly. You should keep this in mind whether you buy one or build one yourself. Opt for a scarecrow that stands on a stake that can be pulled up and stuck into the ground in another part of the garden. It is also helpful to dress or decorate it with the colors red and yellow. Changing the scarecrow’s outfit or accessories occasionally is also helpful.

Your pets can help

Keep birds away - your pets can be helpful

Your beloved pets can be the best weapon to keep birds from eating your garden’s produce. A well-supervised dog will have the time of his life chasing birds out of your garden. If you have an outdoor cat, it will keep the birds away, but it could also cause problems of its own by turning the loosely cultivated soil into a makeshift litter box and digging up your prized plants as it buries its treasures.

Keep birds away with chicken wire on the ground

Keep birds away with chicken wire on the ground

Attach chicken wire to the ground to protect newly planted seeds or freshly sown tubers from damage by birds scratching and pecking at the soil. As seedlings begin to grow, the wire can be lifted out of the ground on stakes for added protection.

Plant flowers that deter birds

Plant flowers that deter feathered friends

You can deter certain birds from invading your landscape using protective plants. For example, pigeons, which primarily eat plants in the cabbage family, don’t like to traverse densely planted areas. You can plant a dense border of annual flowers around the areas of your garden you want to protect, but combined with netting or a visual deterrent, this is ultimately the best protection.