Small fruits safest from birds and deer.

Asked July 6, 2017, 10:03 AM EDT

What easy care small fruits are likely to give a crop despite birds and deer? Our service berries yield well unprotected. Are suburban small fruits less bothered by birds than in the 'old days' now that orioles and such are less common?

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

Many types of birds (catbirds, robins, mockingbirds, etc.) are attracted to small fruits planted in suburban yards, especially due to loss of their natural habitats and food sources. The Ribes berries (currants and gooseberries) may be less attractive to birds, although we do not have specific research on this. If you want to protect small fruits from bird feeding, your best bet would be to cover them to exclude the birds. A light fabric (e.g. tulle) can be used to cover berries as they are ripening, for example.