birds out of blueberries

john222-gg(Mississippi 8a/8b)June 4, 2013

I was watching a show on the tube it was abought a you pick blueberry farm they were talking abought keeping birds out of the berries. The man said he was playing a tape abought little birds hollering and it keeps all the birds out of his farm. Has anyone heard of such a tape or any thing like this I missed most of the conversation should have been paying better attention. The way he talked he had no problem with birds. I sure have problems I grow every type of fruit there is and the birds love all of them. Any comments will be appreciated.

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fireduck(10a)

j...feeling your pain right now. I am so frustrated with busting my butt and raising fruit trees....just to get a handful of fruit. Between gophers, birds, opposums, and raccoons...I am stressed out. My first peach tree that fruited this year was stripped of fruit by the birds. This, in spite of the reflective/shiny tape fluttering above and a net that was almost wrapped perfectly. ugh. Watching this thread...

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:26PM
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rayrose(8)

Are you sure it isn't squirrels getting your peaches instead of birds. Birds leave my peaches alone, it's the squirrels that I have to fight. I have a trap baited with their favorite(sunflower Seeds) set at the base of the tree. They go for the seeds and leave my peaches alone. So far this year I've trapped 21 squirrels,

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:59AM
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fireduck(10a)

Yes, my problem is definitely birds. Sounds like you need a squirrel roundup. haha. The birds usually get the peaches a week or two before I can pick. Very frustrating.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:10AM
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rayrose(8)

I'd try putting a bird net over the tree. I have the same problem, when my plums and apples get ripe. If it wasn't for the bird nets, I'd get very little fruit. I bought mine at Lowes. They come 15'x15' and will cover a good size tree.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:34AM
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melikeeatplants

Birds were pecking at my almost ripe peaches on my two year old tree last week. I hung a bunch of CD's and it's keeping them off (for now)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:03AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Fireduck,

What kind of birds are eating your peaches?

I don't mind sharing with the cardinals as there are not many of them but the catbirds and mockingbirds that are thankfully far and few between meet untimely ends.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:02PM
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charlieboring

I have had limited success using strips of aluminum foil which flutters in the wind. I intend to try a new method, but it is a little pricie. Use a motion control sensor attached to a water hose. You can buy these on line.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:39PM
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treehugger101

We built a berry hut based on another thread. We used 3/4" water approved PVC. We built a bottom frame, 6 posts and then hoops from 1/2" PVC which slid into the 3/4" posts. It took maybe 30 minutes. Then we threw the very best bird netting - green soft 30' x 30' netting - from american netting & fabric - over all. The next one we build we will add a PVC door. Anyway, it is perfect. No birds, voles, chipmunks, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, nobody. Just lots of fruit for us.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:01PM
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rayrose(8)

Treehugger,

What are the dimensions of your berry hut?
I'm thinking of building one too.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:48PM
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treehugger101

10' x 5'. The water approved PVC comes in 10' lengths so we just made it easy. In this one, there are 3 hoops at the top like this.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:00AM
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rayrose(8)

Thanks, I need to make mine tall enough to walk around in, so I guess I would need to join together 2 of those pieces. Mine needs to be about 7' x 30'. How do you plan on adding a door?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:25AM
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jtburton

Noticed a medium sized black snake coiled around one of my boysenberry plants. He was right by a few berries waiting for an unsuspecting bird to try to grab one. Had to smile about that...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:44AM
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charlieboring

You can make the house with square corners using connection joints and produce a frame on one end that lifts up or one without a frame that roles up. I would make the door of netting with a piece of plastic pipe in the bottom which can be secured at the bottom.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:03AM
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rayrose(8)

Since the house is 7' wide, wouldn't that require a 7' wide door?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:16AM
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treehugger101

You can make it as tall as you want since the 1/2" PVC slides into the 3/4". So just leave more out. Ours is about 7' tall. I have not had time to figure how to do the door but it can be done. We are making several more in various sizes. Charlieboring - good idea about the roll up door. We used zip ties to tie the netting and just lift up one side and flip it over the top. We use rocks to keep out ground dwelling critters. Works well.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:17AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

I built a very spartan hoop house with 1/2 pvc for some of my potted blueberries this year. It's approximately 9' x 10' and the top is covered with nylon tulle. Rather than build a door, I covered one end with two overlapping pieces of old fiberglass screen. You could probably do the same with bird netting, shade cloth, etc. To keep the flaps from separating in a breeze, etc., I just weight them at the bottom with a brick. It's simple and, so far, works very well.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 12:34PM
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steve_in_los_osos

You can maybe see from the picture below how I framed my hinged door:

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 4:22PM
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rayrose(8)

Treehugger,
Did you use a full 10' peace in each one of your hoops?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 5:41PM
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treehugger101

rayrose, Yes. The posts are 5' and the hoops are 10. That way I did not have to make many cuts, it went up really fast and I can raise or lower the hoops as needed.
steve_in_los_osos - Did you use metal pipe or PVC? I would like to have one like that for my trees. How did you attach the cross bars for the door?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 5:45PM
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steve_in_los_osos

Each hoop is made from two 10 ft. lengths of 1/2" electrical conduit PVC (slightly cheaper than the plumbing alternative and UV resistant--or so it says).

The ends of the hoops are placed over lengths of rebar driven into the ground and then the u-shaped clamps for holding conduit in place are used to attach the PVC to the base frame (and/or the fence, in my case).

The horizontals and verticals in the front face are attached to the hoop by drilling holes in 1/2" caps and through the hoop. Enlarging the hole in the cap a little enables you to turn the cap a little so that you can get it horizontal (or vertical) and just pushing the hoop out a little enables you to insert a pipe which is held by the caps. I also used "T" pieces to attach the top-center brace and the two horizontal braces, as well as the verticals that make up the door frame.

I borrowed the design of the door itself from a greenhouse I built from a plan available on-line. Essentially you make a rectangle, of course, but the side where the hinges will be has two small sections cut out, just large enough so that the thickness of an eye-bolt will nearly fill the gap.

This is the weak part of the design. When I built the greenhouse I used 1" PVC and a length of metal 3/4" electrical conduit went inside the cut sections where the hinges would be located. You need to drill through the PVC and metal while keeping everything aligned and then screw it all together so that the eye-bolt is trapped in the gap and moves freely around the metal pipe. The eye-bolt is then attached to the door frame in the hoop and the door swings freely on the metal pipe that is threaded through the eye-bolt and screwed into the PVC.

Of course, the 1/2" PVC is too small for metal electrical conduit to fit inside. I resorted to some small lengths of galvanized pipe but should have used longer pieces and the stuff was a bear to drill through. I'll probably revisit that down the line.

Of all the crazy contraptions and constructions I have around here this is absolutely the BOMB. I should have done it years ago.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:50PM
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Avocado101(9A Southern California)

I have a "temporary" protection over my blueberries. The PVC pipes are not glued at all. They just been tapped in tight by a mallet. It fell over once, so I staked them down at two places, and it is still standing. The entry way is to the right of the picture. It is like a curtain. The curtain of a net is tied to an extra PVC pipe. I just lift it up and enter. The height is 5' tall, 10' long, and 5' wide. The netting material is from Amazon. So far it worked well.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 12:38AM
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treehugger101

These are both good designs, too. We did not screw or glue anything on ours. Up in 30 minutes and it has held up to high winds and sever storms just fine. We used water quality PVC so the carcinogens did not leach into the soil/our food as it does with electrical conduit.

Terri

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:25AM
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rayrose(8)

Terri,

Does yours have a pvc base on all four sides like Avocado's, or just on two sides?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:08AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

We used water quality PVC so the carcinogens did not leach into the soil/our food as it does with electrical conduit.

That's interesting, Terri. I often see electrical conduit recommended for hoop houses because prolonged contact with white/plumbing pvc degrades greenhouse film. Where did you learn about this issue? I'm not making any progress with google searches -- perhaps I'm just not hitting on the right combination of key words.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 12:37PM
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