protecting blackberries from birds and other bb question

ikea_gwMay 20, 2010

Newbie question alert!! I planted two Kiowa blackberries in my garden and there are small berries forming right now. We have a lot of birds, finches, cardinals, robins, etc. How can I protect the berries from them?

When are the berries supposed to send up primocanes? I am in zone 7. One of the blackberries has already done so but the other one hasn't sent up anything. They are both in full sun in good garden soil. Thanks!

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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

First off you need 12 to fifteen plants to make family of 4 berries then your birds have some berries. Birds are after seed in berries but will eat hold drulet so feed birds seed away from berries. Netting is pain but will work if berries are distance from berries so can't feed through netting. Kiowa will come to bare fruit later and send up new canes as crown can surport new canes it take about 17 to 19 months to get blackberry plant to good start about anything fertilizer blackberry plants I don't no your starting point on your berries. you could have broke off new shouts off crown at planting if was this year plant will recover. Zone 7 good climate for berries growth in july and august nights be warmer that help growth 77 degress and above give good growth if hours are long at that temp.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 10:23PM
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Regarding your first question, birds got too many of my blackberries last year, and I discovered that just throwing bird netting over the berries creates a tangled mess that still doesn't give great protection.

So, this year I built a bird screen using PVC tubing over rebar as posts. I then used fittings to connect the ends of the posts to horizontal pieces of PVC tubing, creating a rectangular frame, which I covered with bird netting. With the netting raised over the berries, I can keep the birds out without getting everything tangled up.

I pinned down the edges of the netting at the sides and back so birds won't hop under it. Then, for the front, I attached the bottom edge of the net to two long pieces of PVC pipe and used them as weights to hold the front down. When I want to go in, I just lift up the pipe in front and duck under. I can also roll the netting up around the front pipes, hang it from some clips that I attached to the top front part of the frame, and leave it open when the flowers are in bloom so that the bees can get in to pollinate them.

The whole thing cost about $60 at Home Depot and took about an hour and a half to build. If I can figure out how to attach pictures here, I can post a photo so you can see what I mean.

Regarding your second question, my Darrows have primocanes up, but you're in a different zone than I am and I don't have any experience with Kiowa, so I can't help much.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 10:25PM
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Rob, thanks for the netting advice. I will be putting together some kind of netting tent this weekend and make sure they are attached to the ground. I checked the Kiowa again today and indeed there is one tiny primocane growing now on the plant I was worried about. So I was just worried for nothing! :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 1:41PM
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No problem. One other thing that I should have mentioned is that you will need something to make sure that the netting doesn't blow off of your frame. I used zip ties to fasten the netting to the posts and they seem to be working fairly well.

Glad to hear your primocanes are coming up.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 2:15PM
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