Birds can be both a pest and an ally in the garden. Birds help with pest control eating a wide variety of insects including aphids, caterpillars, mosquitos, and spiders. On the downside, they will also steal seeds and eat your tomatoes!
- You can protect your seeds by covering them with a layer of burlap or shade cloth. I typically hold it down with a hardware mesh panel because that’ll help keep cats out as well.
- Automated motion-activated sprinklers are a great way to keep birds off of a particular area.
- Bird netting will keep birds off of your tomatoes, berries, and other fruits!
- Scare tape will also help keep birds away from problem areas.
- We also have a couple of fake owls stationed around the garden that are meant to scare birds away. Be sure to move them around every day or so, or the birds will figure out your trick!
Plants to Especially Watch:
- Beans (Bush & Pole)
- Berries, such as:
- Tomatoes (Bush & Vine)
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Italian cypress trees flanked the roads to and around the vineyards at the Novitiate in Los Gatos and around Saratoga. A few more grew out in the vineyards where there were no roads. It seemed odd that landscaping was a priority out where it was not seen; but the trees were there for the martins to live in. The martins kept the birds that ate the grapes away. The tall and narrow Italian cypress trees did not shade the vineyards much. Some of the home gardens in suburban areas were outfitted with martin houses that looked like apartment buildings for birds. I do not see them anymore.