Friday, February 15, 2013

Protect your fruit from birds and bats

Green Thumb's Tips for the Day:
Protect your fruit crop from birds and bats without harming them and without spending a cent! Save every bit of netting you can from bags of oranges, garlic, onions and other green groceries. Tulle works if you have some scraps of it as we did (found some bright pink tulle at hard waste). Wrap and bag groups of fruit in the netting and secure with clothes pegs. Don't wrap groups too tightly or they may rot from being pressed against each other - they need a bit of air around them. Put over the biggest or most sun exposed fruit first as these will the first to get the critters' attention. For the most part it works. Washing the netting in laundry soap and not rinsing it seems to help a bit too. We stumbled onto that by pulling apart an old cleansing puff for netting.

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You will lose whatever isn't netted. We couldn't reach it all so that was expected. The animals will take the path of least resistance and eat the unnetted ones first. Late in your crop when there isn't much left they will magically get at what is netted. Those rainbow lorikeets have dextrous mouths! We had some losses but we got more than we could eat before that point. We stewed up most of it, sans sugar, and stored it in the freezer to enjoy for the next few months. It's delightful, warmed with cool, plain yoghurt on top - with an optional light sprinkle of quick oats if you're having it for breakfast.

Listening to: Come Undone by Duran Duran, from Duran Duran (The Wedding Album).

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