Not this year robins!

Last year the robins took most of my already tiny blueberry crop from me. I didn't realize that they'd be so fond of unripe fruits, then tried to react by throwing some bird netting over the two potted plants.

That didn't work, as those birds are good at finding the gaps in the netting and stuffing themselves. This year I'm taking a smarter approach.


The first step was to move the blueberry plant pots right next to the house (as shown above) -- this should throw off the birds for a day or two while I get busy.

Not yet ripe, but robins don't care!

The second step was to dig these out of the back yard:

Those are the PVC pipes from my old temporary greenhouse. I'll use them to make a frame over the plants!

After much sorting (and cleaning!), I was able to find several pipes that were about the same length, and I knew I had lots of elbow and "T" connectors, so I started building a frame:

It turns out that I only had to cut a few inches off one pipe! I was amazed as I thought I'd have to cut every one of these to length. (By the way, PVC is super easy to cut with a hacksaw -- it takes 5 seconds or less.) It helps that dimensions don't have to be exact -- the flexible pipe allows you to be less precise.

It came together quite quickly:

I was originally going to put the solid rectangles on the ends, but then realized that I'd want a full perimeter of pipes to be along the ground -- so the netting can be tucked under for complete protection.

The legs even collapse for easy transportation! Yes, that was totally by design. They did not just fall down like that once I took the top off (cough, cough).

Once the frame was in place...

...the final step was the netting:

I really hate working with bird netting. It gets caught on every little thing so is just a pain to move around.

I started using cable ties to attach it, then remembered that I had lots of these clips that are designed to do exactly what I want: hold netting (or plastic) onto PVC pipes.

So I covered the frame, using plenty of clips and a few cable ties to hold some gaps together. It's very important to make sure there is no way to get in from the bottom:

And that's the job finished:

As I was tightening the final cable making the frame impenetrable, I realized: the birds are not the only ones who can't get at the berries...

How am I going to harvest these?

I guess I'll have to lift the frame up every once in a while to pick blueberries -- not that there are going to be too many of them. It's worth the trouble, right?


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Barbie  – (June 20, 2013 at 1:10 PM)  

Hey I love this!! It is so simple and effective. It is easy enough for me to make! :-) Thanks. I will need to make something soon for my Blueberry bush!

Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (June 20, 2013 at 7:32 PM)  

Great post, thank you

I had a good laugh as well.
On a small scale, I think your net house is the solution to shield my herbs.

Steve Lau  – (June 20, 2013 at 9:30 PM)  

I see one of your blueberries must have had a drainage problem eh?

I've had that problem in the past 2 weeks as it just never stopped raining, but we are finally clearing up, but the soil is still very damp after 2 days without rain.

Blueberry roots seem to be especially prone to rotting due to lack of drainage, but after applying some gypsum in a couple weeks, hopefully the drainage problem will be solved.

danger garden  – (June 21, 2013 at 12:16 AM)  

I don't know, I'm thinking the $2.99 pint from the grocery store is looking much easier...

Lisa  – (June 21, 2013 at 7:23 AM)  

This is indeed dedication! I hope those berries are worth it in the end!

Alan  – (June 21, 2013 at 7:45 AM)  

Maywyn: what is eating your herbs? Herbs are usually safe from everything!

Steve: that's drought damage from last year. I need to get these into the ground!

Loree: since when is growing anything the easy way? You know there's more too it than that -- or have you not planted any tomatoes this year? ;)

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