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6 messages
19/05/2012 at 10:24

I tied runner beans on their support, as I believe I should do. Now, I used twine (natural colour beige) and tits always come and try to pick them loose, damaging the plants. Except putting plastic ties to support plants, does anyone have an alternative solution?

19/05/2012 at 10:42
I use some stuff called Flexi tie, it's a stretchy brown plastic, quite fine, that comes in a long roll. It can be reused over and over again. I don't think you'll be able to reason with the tits that supporting your plants is more important than an easy source of nesting material. As the beans grow and twine round their canes, or whatever, they'll become self supporting anyway.
19/05/2012 at 11:39

Thanks "figrat"! I'll try and find some flexi tie. Unfortunately, the beans are still too short to be self-supportive, and the cold Lancs weather doesn't stimulate their growth.

19/05/2012 at 16:45

Why dont you create something for the birds to take their attention away from your beans?  Take some twine and wrap it about ten times round two sticks in the ground about 7 or 8 inches apart (just for ease of winding).  Get a flower pot with a large drainage hole in the bottom, take the twine you just wrapped and push one end of the batch of twine through the hole. With the flowerpot held upside down, thread some more twine through the fold in the twine to create a hanging loop then tie a knot around the twine ensuring the knot secures the twine and it cannot fall through the flower pot hole.  

The other end of the twine should hang down below the level of the flowerpot.  Cut the bottom of the loop so you now have only separate strings of twine hanging down.  Ruffle them up and loosen up the twine threads and this should make the birds want to use this for their nests.  Like us, they will go for the easy option if there is one

You could also make it more attractive for them if you have a cat or dog that you groom - put the dander up in amongst the twine so it doesn't fly away easily and they will be most grateful

19/05/2012 at 17:54

Funnily enough, the tits in my garden have been attacking the natural twine I used yesterday to tie in a climbing rose.

25/05/2012 at 00:47

the thrifty tips section on the forum suggests using old tights (any colour) for tying up and staking. Its strong enough, flexible, etc and works well for all manner of plant supports and its not fibrous so the birds should leave it alone.

Incidently I had to cut a fibrous (coconut fibre or similar) hanging basket liner down today to fit my basket and I have thrown the fibrous offcuts down near the flower bed to see if the tits use it for nesting material. Hopefully it'll keep them busy and off my other plants...

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