Blueberries and wild animals/birds

mary614March 31, 2012

We have our planting area all fixed. The bed is 50x4 and 16 inches deep filled with a 50/50 peat/bark mix. This is located on the southern side of our property in full sun. Just in the last few days I have noticed turkeys meandering very closely to the area. We have lived here for close to 5 years and not had turkeys in the yard. I have seen them and know that they are around but not in our yard... Will they completely destroy the bb plants? My first plants should be arriving in about 2 weeks. What can I do to protect the BB? I know from experience that turkeys can be very destructive to crops, just hadn't thought of the BB in our yard being within their grazing area.

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I keep my bushes enclosed in individual cages made of chicken wire. They are somewhat a pain to remove or reach under to pick the berries. Now that the bushes are getting large, I plan to make a large walk-in enclosure. Rabbits and deer eat the bushes, and birds will carry off much of the harvest without protection. The first year you won't have a crop, but you still need animal protection. Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Just got my bird netting up on my Blues last week!!!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 4:07PM
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nice setup blueboy , would you care to share your watering system ?


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 8:30PM
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Sure, I will have to take some pics and post them on here next week. I have about 1400gal rain water storage between a 500gal plastic tub and 15 blue 55gal barrels. Not all the barrels are piped up in a series yet but all are full of rain water for storage. One half of my house is guttered to the barrels. Got a pump that puts out way too many gpm for what I need but it works. Each raised bed has 15ft of garden hose wrapped around the blues and covered in 3in of pine bark mulch. Poked holes in the hose with a nail every 2 inches. Im wanting to get a timer and automate the whole thing but havent got around to it yet. All my potted blues I hand water with a water can. Thats pretty much it. It really looks pretty getto the way its all set up but it is very functional. My wife is on my butt to build a fence around the barrels and stuff cause it is a eye sore. I will post some pics in the near future.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:46PM
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I assume you probably were refering to the vegetable garden watering system. Just pvc with soaker hoses attached to the water faucet. I do have block valves to each bed. Beyond the view of the pic the water sysetm also goes to my strawberry bed and blackberries. Just tap water not rain water. I save the rain for the blues only. Expecting another long hot drought in Texas again this year and the blues dont like tap, at all!!!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 10:17AM
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Turkeys won't hurt the bushes, but will eat the berries. Since you are just planting your bushes, you should remove the flowers from them the first two years (if you can't bring yourself to remove them all, leave a couple to try but don't allow them to bear heavily). Without berries, for the first two years, the turkeys and birds won't be a problem. Rabbits and deer however can be a problem though. If there is cover nearby, the rabbits can chew the bushes to the ground in the winter, they don't bother my bushes in the summer though. Deer like to graze the tips of the bushes. Usually the rabbits and deer don't kill the plants, but they will cause you to lose some or all of your crop for the year.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 8:49AM
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Thank you everyone for your answers and experiences. Blueboy that is a nice set up.

I knew we needed a fence just thought I had a little time, before I needed to do that. Rabbits aren't too big of a problem here my daughters cats seem found of the little guys... As for deer they don't get too close to the yard, the barking dog helps :-)

Thank you

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 10:07AM
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