by Texas Homesteader ~
This is my first year to plant strawberries, y’all! I’ve included them in my Edible Landscape this year. But how do you protect fresh, ripe garden strawberries from the birds?
I’ve been reading lamentations from other gardeners about the birds stealing those strawberries riiiiiight before harvest time!
Now I don’t remember where I saw this hint (so sorry to whomever opened my eyes to this hack) but this is brilliant. I read somewhere that someone was suggesting painting rocks to look like strawberries.
It’s said that painting rocks to look like strawberries will fool the birds. You simply place the fake strawberries around your strawberry plant soon after you plant them. That way there are no actual strawberries available, only these hard rocky strawberry look-a-likes.
A few pecks on the hard faux strawberries and the birds decide that I’m such a lousy gardener that they don’t want ’em! LOL
So I decided to give it a try. It was super easy and fast (and CHEAP!) I simply gathered up a few small roundish rocks and a bottle of craft paint that I already had.
Using The Paint I Had…
Now the craft paint bottle I had indicated the paint inside was red in color. But to me it’s really more of a dark pink color… with sparkles! 😀 But I’m assuming the birds won’t mind. And I’d think the sparkles may attract more attention anyway. So I decided to give it a try.
To paint my future strawberry rocks I needed a craft paint brush. But I found that didn’t have one in my craft drawer. Did I run to the store and buy one? Nope.
Making A Temporary Craft Paintbrush
I pieced together a Temporary Paintbrush out of what I had at home. A small piece of terrycloth and a clothespin. I’m a #UseWhatchaGot kinda girl!
It probably wouldn’t work for any fine detail painting projects. But it worked fine for my little craft. And it was free. Plus after painting I tossed that tiny square of scrap fabric in the trash and returned the clothespin to my laundry room to continue its important work of hanging out our clean laundry.
Painting Rocks To Look Like Strawberries
Anyway, I used my sparkly pinkish paint and my homemade paintbrush to paint each of the rocks I’d gathered. I decided on a couple of coats to make sure the rocks were solidly covered, allowing the paint dry between coats.
Then I took a white paint pen and put a little detailing on each one. I was hoping that this looks enough like a strawberry that it will fool the birds.
If the paint doesn’t weather well I may have to add another coat of paint in the future. But I’m out zero dollars for this trick.
I had the rocks, I had the paint (sparkly as it was…) so if it saves my strawberries for RancherMan & me to enjoy, all the better! I’ve since read naysayers pointing out that this hack doesn’t work. That birds aren’t really fooled by pecking on rocks instead of ripe, delicious berries.
I don’t know why someone else might experience something different than me, but this little gardening hack for strawberries has worked beautifully here for years.
It’s not because we don’t have very many birds visiting our yard, quite the opposite. We have many birds of all different species. And we have bird feeders in the yard and birdhouses to attract them too.
There are always lots of birds in our yard at any given time. However since placing these strawberry-painted rocks in my strawberry bed I’ve lost precious few of my fresh home-grown strawberries to the birds. And don’t we all want to enjoy the bounty of our own harvest?
My Favorite Garden Hacks
- Easy Garden Planning Spreadsheet
- Getting A Jump: Planting An Indoor Greenhouse
- Repurposed Cardboard Seed-Starting Pots
- 3-Sister’s Garden – The Original Companion Planting
- Planting A Large Galvanized Trough
- Tricking Birds AWAY From Your Strawberry Plants
- Easy Compost For A Healthy Garden
- Propping Tender Seedlings
- Cheap (or FREE) Wood Mulch For The Garden
- Using Vining Plants For Living Mulch
- Homestead Hack: Remember Where You Planted Seeds
- How Vegetable Gardening Can Change Your Life!
- Keeping Potted Plants Watered
- Planting A Blueberry Bush In Galvanized Tub
- Stevia – Growing Your Own Sweetener!
- How I Use EcoBricks In The Garden
- Compost Old Confidential Documents
- Repurposing A Coffee Can For Deep-Soak Watering
- How Leaves Benefit Your Garden
- My Simple, Zero-Waste Herb Drying Setup
- How To Grow Fresh Salad Greens In All Seasons
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