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I find it interesting that under 'jobs to be done this week' it is suggested that we cover fruit trees and bushes to stop birds eating the emerging fruit buds and at the same time we get a whole raft of suggestions on how best to feed our garden birds. Why not leave the birds to have a share of what we grow and leave them to decide what foods are good for them? - Mind you, I still net most of my brassicas, as the voracious pigeons would'nt leave any for us.
I always leave the high up apples for the birds, and the windfalls. I grow redcurrants and raspberries, but I don't like redcurrants, except for jelly from time to time, so I leave the redcurrants for the birds and they prefer them to raspberries so they leave me most of (not all!) the raspberries.
I have seen for fruit or veg a good cadge that surrounds the plot of land ,nothing can get in bird or animal wise ,expensive but good for a small plot,birds dont bother me with the fruit ,even the current bushes as there always seems enough and they pick off the caterpillers and slugs.
they prefer them to raspberries so they leave me most of (not all!) the raspberries.
I have often wondered why the birds leave the rasps alone. I grow autumn fruiting and the the birds won't touch them at all, even if I pick a few and put them on the bird table. Yet you would think the rasps are sweeter than redcurrants or blackcurrants which they will be quite happy to take ?
Thank you all for your responses. I wonder if anybody knows where I could get 'pigeon netting' for my garden. I grow broccoli etc. in a cage (garden netting over aluminium frame from the local garden centre). Ideally I would like to use a net with greater mesh size that would only stop pigeons and let the small birds in to 'clean' my plants of pests.
I use the fine black netting sold for making fruit cages, available in garden centres by the metre. It keeps out the b****y cabbage white butterflys out which deccimate any brassica plants. The holes are too small for pigeons feet to go through. I have a fruit cage covered with it, now in its 4th year and so far I have never had a bird caught in it.
I have seen several small birds that have got tangled up in soft netting and died hanging there by their feet, so I would always recommend rigid cages made of chicken wire over a frame.
Thank you for your useful comments.