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This cheap, easy hack for fruit and vegetable gardens will save your harvest

Keep birds away from your strawberry bush (and other plants) with this tip

Your fruit and vegetable garden is the pride and joy of your yard. Whether you’re planting tomatoes, squash, or berries, you want your garden to thrive. Of course, pests and critters have other plans. Certainly, there are ways you can detract insects and other creepy crawlies, but what about birds? If you’ve ever tended to your garden to discover your newly ripened strawberry bush had been ravaged by an invading flock, this garden hack is for you.

How to save your strawberry bush

Posted to the r/interesting and r/LifeHacks subreddit, this particular hack originally came from Facebook. The original poster explained that while everyone had laughed at them, they’d painted rocks to look like strawberries and placed them around the berry plants and bushes before the fruit appeared.

“The bird will peck the red rocks,” the post explained. “They hate pecking super hard things so they will leave the fruit when it appears.”

The original poster noted that while they had eight crows in the yard every day before planting the fake rocks, by the time the berries appeared, there were no more crows.

Does it really work?

 While some users were skeptical that the crows wouldn’t eventually figure it out — citing how intelligent crows are — there were plenty of others who vouched for this particular method.

“I started doing this in my strawberry patch the year before last. I also got made fun of a lot by my family, but the Steller’s jays left my berry patch alone once I had berries,” said Zipzifical.

All you have to do is find rocks about the size of a strawberry — you should be able to find plenty in your yard — and paint them red. Add some black dots for seeds and green at the top, and once your rocks are dry, you’re good to go. Not only do you have a defense against invading birds, but you’ve added an adorable aesthetic to your garden landscaping. (Who needs gnomes and fairy gardens, when you’ve got strawberry rocks?)

If painting rocks isn’t your thing, Digital_Scribbles offered a similar solution: “My grandfather used to do this around his tomato plants. He would hang bright red Christmas ornaments on his plants right before they starting fruiting. After a few broken ornaments, the birds gave up.”

You likely have a few spare ornaments lying around, no painting required.

What if you have a squirrel problem?

 While this method likely wouldn’t work on squirrels, Redditors had some other suggestions:

“I’ve always scattered strong spices around my plants, like a border. Haven’t had any squirrel issues since I started, and I think it’s because of the spice smell,”  oop-dere-it-is said.

SmileFirstThenSpeak offered, “I wrap my tomato plants loosely with tulle fabric. It keeps squirrels and chipmunks away.”

Painted rocks are a tried-and-true method for keeping birds out of your garden so you have a plentiful harvest to enjoy. It’s time to get DIYing, and soon enough, you’ll be enjoying some homemade strawberry jam.

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