Potted cherry - protect from cracking and birds?
My Stella Cherry has cherries on it for the first time. It's in a pot. I live in Northern Ohio. Zone 5, maybe zone 6.
I have a series of pvc arches that I use as a frame for frost protection and bird nets for a dozen or so potted fruit trees / bushes. I will also use that frame to create a plastic sheet umbrella to keep rain off the Cherries to prevent cracking.
Problem is I will be leaving for 8 days. Our wonderful neighbors will water while I'm gone. It's a bit of a hassle to work around the bird net. If it's not necessary, I'd prefer not to impose that on my neighbor. So I'd prefer to delay the net & plastic sheeting.
1) Any idea what the earliest date I would need to put up the netting and plastic?
2) How long before harvest are my cherries likely to show color and attract birds?
For Reference, Adams County nursery is one zone warmer than me. They list the harvest date for their earliest sweet cherry as 6/15.