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Early harvest, fencing protect fruit from birds

Question: I have eight California seedless grape vines that are 3 years old, and this year, they are sprouting a lot of grapes. How do you keep the birds from eating up the grapes? I have a fig tree that I sprayed with a bug killer, and that kept the birds from eating the figs. What is good to put on the grapes so I can eat them instead of the birds?

We don’t spray anything on our grapes to keep birds off them. Unlike some other fruit, which we can harvest a bit early and allow it to mature off the tree, you can’t do this with grapes or figs. They must mature completely while still on the vine or tree.

The only safe alternative is to use bird netting to protect the plant and fruit. Bird netting must be securely fastened or tied to the ground or to the trunk. You must not leave any spaces for birds to go under it or force their way through it.

I am unsure that I would be very comfortable spraying fruits with an insecticide to repel birds.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas. Email him at extremehort@aol.com or visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.

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