I’ve heard about people who have to fight off docile deer and those fluffy little bunnies. They come up with all sorts of ideas to frighten, intimidate and punish the cute little wildlife that appear in their garden to have a look around and strike photogenic poses.
Alas, but I wish I had such simple matters to deal with. No, in my garden fear comes from above. Yes, I have the viciously ruthless Common House Sparrow to contend with.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking…what could a tiny beady-eyed house sparrow do to your garden that a swipe with a broom couldn’t deal with?
Well, sparrows tienen los cajones (tiny ones albeit) of steel. They’ll pick away at my pea sprouts while looking me in the eye, then fly away when I rush at them hose in hand. They’ll laugh at me as they snack on my lettuce greens. With two broods a season, they have countless little beaks to feed and they’ll stop at nothing to get at my Swiss chard.
I’ve battled these villainous flying feathered fiends for years, and I’ve finally come up with a tidy solution to keep them away from the goods. I’ve built retaining walls – tiny jails to protect my veggies from the beaks of doom.
For four weeks after I sow my peas I protect them with a metal mesh from one end of my raised bed to the other. After they have reached about four inches in height they seem to no longer have the tasty bird-appeal they once did, and it’s safe to release the peas to grow tall and delicious.
My small planters of early greens are protected from seedling to salad by custom made wire mesh proctors.
I’ll be protecting my head lettuce this year for the entire season with my new lettuce coop. Built from flexible PVC hose and plastic mesh, this fortress of security is impenetrable. See the photo gallery for details.