Hi I'm Tricia a California organic gardener. One day last year on my way to work i passed by this cherry tree and I noticed that the fruit was ready to harvest and I said Oh good after work I'm going to come and pick my cherries. Problem is I got back and they were none thanks to the magpies.
Today I'm going to share my tips for protecting your garden against birds gopher and deer. I love my strawberries but so do the birds the best protection against birds is the bird netting. I've built this frame out of PVC and metal and it goes over my raised bed, the best time to put the netting on is right before the berries turn color. The colors what attracts the birds to your berries. So all I need to do is put these snap clamps on to hold the netting in place. For areas were bird netting is not practical you can use various scare devices; for example the scare ballon, the owl, the rattlesnake, even use pie pans or cd's. Although these scares are not one hundred percent effective they do really work well especially if you change the type and location of scare that use. You want to rotate the bird scares about every week or more often if you see the birds getting use to them.
If you see mounds of dirt like this its a sure sign that you have either voles, moles or gophers. To set this Cinch trap position the trap on a flat surface point the pins downward, pull the spring loaded double arm down to the bottom of the trap, take the left pin and place it over the arm and under the right pin, place the right pin between the lip and the edge of the trap, position the trigger over the right pin and release the spring-loaded double arm, the trap is set. The Sweeney trap takes a little more dexterity but once you get the hang of it it's easy to set; position the pin on top of the crossbar and squeeze the spring-loaded pincher position the lock above it place the pin in the hole of the trigger plate the trap is set. This Cinch trap gets installed into the gopher hole just like so. If you're building raised beds or you want to protect individual plants you can use gopher wire. I put gopher wire on the bottom of all of these raised beds before I put the soil in. The gopher wire is actually smaller in mesh than chicken wire and it's much heavier gauge and that will prevent it from being chewed through or rotting in the soil and if you're in an area like we are here in Northern California Deer can be a very big problem and like birds the only sure-fire way to control them is exclusion and that means a really tall fence. Mule deer can jump up to eight feet so your fence has to be at least that tall and if you're garden is on a slope it's going to need to be at least ten or eleven feet tall. For areas where you cant install permanent fencing install this temporary sturdy deer fencing you can put it around trees when their small and you can remove it after their tall enough so that the deer can't reach the leaves. The other good thing you can do is plant plants that resist deer and you can find out what those are in this book "Deer In My Garden" by best-selling local author and expert gardner Carolyn Singer. There's also a variety of repellents that you can spray around your garden to deter deer, rabbits, voles, moles and gophers and other animals. They're usually made of substances like castor oil or putrified eggs and they're really smelly and vile. Don't let these garden pests get to your bounty before you do control them early and grow organic for life.