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The jewel of mid-summer, the mighty blueberry, is one of the easiest fruits to grow. Beautiful blueberry bushes produce sweet purple-blue orbs each summer (hopefully) and don’t require too much fuss.
But the thing about blueberries is my kids aren’t the only ones who love them. The birds have taken quite a liking to these delicious fruits. Who can really blame them? Putting wildlife netting over the bushes didn’t help. The birds simply sat on the branches and picked at the fruit in the openings of the nets. And while I love birds, I don’t want to let them feed freely on my ripe, delicious blueberries.
Enter a solution: Easy DIY Blueberry Bush Covers. Some friends of ours have an empty field behind their back fence where they have three blueberry bushes. With the location of their bushes, a field, come lots of blueberry-loving deer. In order to keep the deer from eating all of their berries, they came up with covers made with PVC pipe and wildlife netting. What a perfect and low-cost solution to berry loving critters. And the design is quite simple, a cube made from PVC! Even the youngest gardeners can help put these covers together.
The reason for using this particular material for framing is twofold. One, the material is readily available and fairly inexpensive. Any local hardware store will carry it. And two, PVC is light enough to be removed easily to harvest berries. And there’s no need to be concerned about the wind taking it away either. We have you covered there. See the directions below.
While having large white cubes in your yard may not be the most attractive option, you could always spray paint the PVC dark green or brown to blend in with the surroundings. Since our blueberry bushes are in the side yard, and not in plain view, we didn’t worry about this. But it’s always good to know there’s an option to make these covers a little less noticeable.
What You’ll Need
The How To
1. Determine how tall and wide you’d like your blueberry bush cover. We actually have a larger and smaller bush, so we made two different sizes. With your PVC pipe, cut
– 4 height-wise lengths (ex. for a 4ft tall cover, cut 4 48-inch pieces)
– 8 width-wise pieces (ours are 3 feet wide and deep, so we cut 8- 3ft pieces)
2. Using the 4 width-wise pieces and 4 connectors, create a square. Repeat this with the other 4 widthwise pieces and 4 connectors. Once you have two pvc squares (one is the top and one the bottom of your cover), connect them using your length-wise pieces.
3. Once your cover frame is complete, add the wildlife netting. My hubby did this by draping it over the top and securing it with zip ties. Be sure to overlap the netting so you don’t leave any gaps for birds or other animals to get through. The zip ties work well since they can be cut away if necessary, and in our case, they were the same color as the PVC.
4. Finally, place your cover over your blueberry plants and anchor them down with landscape pins. These will keep any gusts of wind or nosy deer from pushing over the cover. The covers can be easily lifted away when you’re ready to harvest. The landscape pins are simple to lift up and replace when you’re finished.
I have picked two small harvests from our blueberry bushes so far this summer, and they are delicious! When you’re able to pick ripe fruit from your own yard, it’s a wonderful feeling. If I can keep away from eating them all, there may be a blueberry pie
in our future!
I’d love to know how you keep the birds away from your blueberry bushes or your favorite blueberry recipe! Have a wonderful week and happy gardening!