GARDENING: Protecting your plants from unwanted attention

Yours truly hanging up the giant eyeball bird scarer in the runner bean patch.
Yours truly hanging up the giant eyeball bird scarer in the runner bean patch.
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I love having birds in the garden and actively encourage them, but there’s a couple of areas where they cause serious damage.

One is the runner bean patch – the resident pair of wood pigeons seem to enjoy wantonly tearing at the leaves (I’ve seen them at it).

The fake falcon keeping a beady eye on berry thieves.

The fake falcon keeping a beady eye on berry thieves.

The multitude of sparrows/dunnocks steal twine by the mile. Every bit from the runner beans and 40 sunflowers was pinched!  

This means crops flop over leaving them more susceptible to slug and snail damage.

The other is the sunberry patch (a loganberry/blackberry cross). These need to be picked daily – if not, the birds eat them and deposit purple poo everywhere.

It’s a short season of keeping them away, but how?

I’m trialling two products from STV – the Eyeball Bird Scarer – it’s basically a big yellow beachball with ‘eyes’ and streamers hanging from it.

Despite its comic looks, the inflatable eyeball, when blowing in the wind, mimics in-flight predators to birds. At the moment, it’s hanging between the beanpoles.

The other deterrent near the sunberry is a life-size 14” Falcon – it deters other nuisance birds and animals.

They’ve been in place for three weeks and the alien eyeball has certainly helped the beans – the wood pigeons haven’t touched them.

Also there’s been far less of a problem with the sunberries – very little purple poo in evidence.

The ‘falcon’ did fall out of the tree at one point and hung upside down for a day, so you can forgive the other birds for thinking it was dead.

The best thing was that the birds seemed to have moved down the garden away from the protected areas, not left, so everyone’s happy.

For more information on organic pest control, log on to the STV website HERE.