Last year my mangetout took a bit of a beating from the local pigeon population, with these thug like birds walking along the length of my fence helping themselves to the juicy growing tips and causing huge amounts of damage from which I thought the plants would not recover. In the end I created a grid of criss crossing yarn above and around them, using the fence as an anchor point, which made things a little more difficult for the opportunist pigeons, as the strands impeded their ability to land on the fence and every day I poked any emerging tips nearest the fence, back down and under the grid through which the pigeons were reluctant to stick their heads.
As is the nature of crop rotation, this year the mangetout have been planted into a bed which will not facilitate the same pigeon deterrent technique and so I’ve had to come up with something else. Thankfully, I had had the presence of mind to keep hold of a stack of old CD/DVDs (primarily the freebie childrens ones that were available in certain newspapers a few years back and which friends used to give me for the girls) when we’d had a sort out a few months ago and now I had the perfect use for them.
So with my mangetout planted against their bamboo pyramids, I set to work, using my trusty spare yarn, nails already hammered into various fence posts for bean supports (not needed for this year), the bamboo canes and some garden wire. I strung yarn from the fence post to each corner of the pyramid, with a DVD/CD suspended part way along its’ length. Other discs were threaded onto shorter lengths of yarn and then placed along the cross beam bamboo, where they are free to dangle and spin/move about in the breeze/wind.
Finally, I loosely fastened a length of fine garden wire along and above the bamboo cross-member, to prevent any birds brave enough to ignore the discs, from landing on the bamboo structure and having a buffet lunch at our expense. This may not be the prettiest looking bird scarer and only time will tell if my preventative tactics work but so far so good ……. and the discs sure do make a pretty pattern as they reflect the light of the sun around the garden.