As explained in a previous post, this year I ran netting across the entire top of the veggie garden, because the raspberries and blueberries had decided to produce fruit at the same time. A great benefit to me in many ways, because it’s made walking around the plot so much easier.
Evidently others have found certain things easier too.
“I shall go pick blueberries!” I said to myself this morning, and headed out to do so. This is what I found.
You can’t see all the details, but Something Heavy had climbed up the side netting, which is fairly sturdy, and gotten onto the top netting, which is not. The weight dropped the netting on top of the blueberries, so what was normally at a six foot level was a couple of feet lower. Results:
- Lots of bent and broken branches
- Unripe blueberries strewn everywhere
- Ripped netting (luckily they didn’t seem to have noticed the hole, and neither had the birds)
I assume the culprits are raccoons, since they cleaned out the cherry tree earlier this spring. They’ve never been a problem with the blueberries before, though.
(Oh, and if that’s not enough to bear, the slugs have been at the strawberries under the blueberries.)
So most of my morning, instead of picking blueberries and doing the other chores I’d planned to do, consisted of trying to figure out my defences against the little fuckers. Here’s what I finally came up with. I found a 2×4 and shoved it into the middle of the patch to hold up the netting. I dug into the earth a little to give it a solid base and I’ve strung ropes from the top in different directions to stabilize it. A couple of nails near the top keep the ropes around the top from sliding. I took the top off a birdfeeder that we haven’t been using (because of the seed attracting rats) and set that on top to spread the pressure on the netting above.
I don’t know if this will work; I guess I’ll find out tomorrow morning, or the next one. If it doesn’t—well, then I’ll have to get really creative. It’s one thing to take the cherries, but NOT MY BLUEBERRIES.