How to Protect Fruit from Birds

Birds can sometimes find their way underneath bird netting. Here’s an alternative solution to keeping birds and pests away from your orchard while growing organic fruit trees and berries.

| April/May 2015

Fruit Cover

This peach tree is draped with row cover to hide the fruits from hungry birds.

Photo by Donna Enz

I started wondering how to protect my fruit from birds after I noticed that they like to eat my peaches and strawberries as much as I do. Bird netting has never been effective for me, because the birds always find a way under it. With floating row cover, however, birds can’t see the fruit. If they can’t see it, they leave it alone.

When the fruit starts to ripen, I cover my peach tree and strawberry plants. I remove the fabric from the strawberries periodically to allow bees and other pollinators to access the bright blossoms.

My peach tree is espaliered, which makes it easy to cover. I use wooden clothespins to secure the floating row cover. As an added bonus, the cover is easy to fold up and store until I need it next season.

Donna Enz
Lyle, Washington

3/22/2015 9:34:05 AM

Does anyone have a guess which type of row cover this is? I've started looking, and I'm finding anywhere from 10-95% light pass through, high and low insulation, and about half a dozen materials row cover fabric could be made of.

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