As I see the blackberries ripen into these gorgeous, juicy berries I wonder if the birds are going to eat them like they ate my early raspberry crop. Last winter I created straw-bale cold frames using row covers-one heavier material and one lighter. The heavier material protected the plants to a lower temperature so I didn’t use the lighter row cover. I just stored it for future use and now I am seeing a use for it: using row covers to protect blackberries from the birds! Save your berries from the birds!
The Blackberries Look Delicious-Big, Beautiful and Juicy
After my experience with the raspberries in the early summer I knew the birds would find the blackberries very attractive and delicious! I decided to cover them with the lighter row cover to protect the blackberries and save them for us! Bird netting is also available for this purpose but I haven’t tried it. The lighter row cover is made to protect plants from summer pests. It doesn’t allow heat to build up underneath because it is so light. I have the blackberries and raspberries growing in large tomato cages so I draped the row cover around the cage and fastened it at the top with clothespins. I leave small openings in the top for air circulation.
Birds Eat Berries and are Very Smart
When you cover your berries with the row cover, make sure there are no holes for birds to get in. Birds are really smart and often find a way to get under the cover. I have had situations when birds get under the row cover and then they can’t get out. I sat once at the United States Botanic Garden in DC and watched the birds eating the blueberries. The birds ate the blueberries before fully ripe so don’t wait too long to put on your berry cover! They were just snatching them up delightedly!
Take Off the Row Cover to Harvest the Blackberries
Every day or so I go out and take it off and harvest the blackberries. With all the ripe blackberries picked I leave it off for a day or two to give the plant some air. Then I wrap them back up. It is working like a charm. I don’t think the birds are too happy about this though! My next batch of raspberries are also almost ready so I wrapped those also. You can click on the link below to purchase the row covers from Amazon.