July 20, 2019
To protect your fig trees from hungry birds, cover the tree canopy with bird netting. The netting operation needs to be completed before the fruit begins to ripen. Timing is critical. Generally the birds leave unripened fruit alone but once the fig or grape shows color they are all in for their feast and little will be left for you.
This was our project last week at Raincatcher’s. We were lucky enough to have Captain in the US Army and Dallas County Master Gardener, Jon Maxwell, leading us.
Netting for the fig was from Lowes; netting for the grapes was purchased on line as it needed to be larger, 28′ x 28′ vs 14′ x 14′ from box stores.
Jon’s tips for bird netting application-have a lot of help and keep your fig tree pruned short.
Above you see Jim Miller, Jon Maxwell and one of our Dallas County Master Gardeners interns at work.
Annette Latham is a steady help with the net in the top picture.
The netting was large enough to basically hang to the ground, so heavy objects were placed at the bottom to help hold it in place. Mockingbirds, who love figs and grapes, have been quite furious!!
Written by Ann Lamb as explained by Jon Maxwell
Pictures by Starla Willis
Looking forward to fig harvest? Here’s few fig recipes from last year’s Grow and Graze event
Don’t forget Grilled Figs with Thyme Honey and Gorgonzola Toasts.
By the way, if you are interested in the Dallas County Master Gardener program, call our help desk at 214- 904 -3053 or go to our website here. Classes start in January when it’s cool!