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Organic Gardening

Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.


Have You Used Painted Pebbles to Keep Birds Away From Your Fruit?

It’s always a bummer to lose sweet fruit growing in your garden or orchard, but one method for saving your harvest could be as simple as a box o’ rocks. Some say painted rocks or pebbles can deter birds from pecking at ripening fruit.

The idea is that if you paint pebbles red and scatter them in your garden, birds will peck at them and be discouraged. Then, when your strawberries or cherries ripen, the birds will ignore them. Or, a gardener could try using larger rocks painted red or yellow to teach chickens not to bother pecking at tomatoes, squash, etc.

Have you ever tried this technique or something similar? If so, how did it work for you?


Shelley Stonebrook is MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine’s main gardening editor. She’s passionate about growing healthy, sustainable food and taking care of our environment. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and .

kirk miller_1
6/1/2010 3:50:58 PM

I hung red Christmas tree ornaments on my tomato plants, hoping that birds would peck them, get frustrated, and leave the true tomatoes alone when they ripened. It didn't work. Birds were too smart. NOTHING I have tried has kept birds from eating my tomatoes: red Christmas tree ornaments, rubber snakes that I moved every day, a scarecrow, shiny silver things that blow in the wind, etc.


lady aelina
5/24/2010 3:22:12 PM

I haven't tried painted rocks,yet. But, I have used old, inexpensive red Christmas ornaments for my tomatoes and other fruited crops. The painted rocks idea sounds like a good one for the kids and I to do.


fran tracy
5/22/2010 8:39:29 PM

I have used wooden balls painted red and coated with a glue which wticks the bugs right there but have not tried the stones. Fran


rbrink21
5/21/2010 10:47:33 AM

I haven't tried this, but I have tried using wooden eggs to keep my chickens from egg eating. It has worked really well.