Strawberry rock decoys are a simple yet effective trick!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 10, 2021. It has since been updated.
If you're looking to grow fruits in your garden and want to keep them safe from critters. try this cool hack. Woman's World reports that a lot of people on the Internet have been swayed by using fake strawberry decoys to keep birds at bay. How you ask? Well, just like us humans, birds can't resist the taste of delicious fruits. So they will try to peck at it, and in this case, they'll be doing so with rocks. Obviously, it won't be fun for them while they're pecking at hard rocks instead of delicious fruits, so they're likely to leave your garden alone! Who would have thought?
One blogger named Texas Homesteader swears by this "super easy and fast (and CHEAP!)" method, writing that "this little gardening hack for strawberries has worked beautifully here for years. It’s not because we don’t have very many birds visiting our yard, quite the opposite. We have many birds of all different species. And we have bird feeders in the yard and birdhouses to attract them too. There are always lots of birds in our yard at any given time. However, since placing these strawberry-painted rocks in my strawberry bed I’ve lost a precious few of my fresh home-grown strawberries to the birds. And don’t we all want to enjoy the bounty of our own harvest?" Instragrammer larissakatherineart adds: My painted strawberries in a strawberry patch! They're meant to be put in with your strawberry plants before they produce strawberries. The animals think they are food, sniff the rocks to determine they are not food, then try again with the next strawberry rock. After doing this over and over again for many days they will give up, and won't bother the strawberries one they start growing! They also look cute in a garden
So what will you need to make some of your own? Get some rocks and wash them thoroughly. Once they've dried, use bright, red acrylic to paint over them. You can embellish the rocks with white, black, and gold spots for seeds. You can also use some green paint for leaves on top and voila! Don't forget to apply at least one coat of craft varnish to prevent the paint from peeling. It helps to give those rocks some shine and gloss to make them look even more realistic.
If you want birds to drop by but not destroy your harvest, make sure you set up bird feeders and baths far away from your garden to alleviate the issue. If you don't want birds at all novice and experienced gardeners keep birds at bay with netting, shiny aluminum foil, or expensive repellent sprays. While these strawberry rocks are said to work well against birds they may not be as effective with squirrels. For them, you can spread a thin layer of coffee grounds around your plants or spraying deer repellant. Squirrels aren't too fond of strong-scented herbs and flowers so you can plant them nearby, such as mint or marigold. This helps deter squirrels from exploring your garden. Happy gardening!