I received an email the other day wanting to know how I grow strawberries without having to put a protective netting over them to protect them from the birds. I have grown strawberries on this farm for 15 years without ever netting them. I can do this because I have mulberry trees!
You see mulberries ripen at the same general time as strawberries. Between my two gardens I have this strip of ground that was once an old fence row. It is lined with huge towering elms, mulberry trees, wild cherry trees and a couple of maples. This is the shadiest place on the whole farm and many days my grandson plays in his sandbox or plastic wading pool under these trees while grandma and grandpa work in the garden. It is always nice to have a shady place to sit and drink ice water at the end of the row when picking beans or corn. The mulberry trees do drop lots of berries and they can be a mess when the birds poop purple all over your car. But my car is always parked in the garage anyway and I let the birds have them. I could make jam or pies with them but I give them to the birds in exchange for my strawberries. The birds seem to pretty well agree to this and they enjoy their mulberries and stay away from my fruit. It's a winning situation for both parties. The kids do raid the mulberry tree from time to time and I simply turn a blind eye and so do the birds : ) I guess we all make exceptions for the grandkids. Now if I could just find something to lure the deer away from the garden that would be great.
As you can see we are still picking strawberries and freezing them in individual bags for Baby O.
She does love her berries this way and just defrosts them and puts a little sugar over the top.
If I had to tell people just starting out about a tree to plant to lure the birds away from the early fruit crops such as strawberries a mulberry tree would be my first suggestion.
How do you keep the birds away from your strawberries?
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter