Bad Company — Baby Beans & Fledgling BirdsJune 22, 2011
About the time bean seeds germinate and emerge from the soil, baby birds are learning to fly around the garden. And the two really don’t mix very well — assuming you hope to harvest food from those bean stalks someday.
Baby birds are very cute, but they’re also randomly destructive. They peck away at just about everything, learning what’s okay to eat and what isn’t. Last year, baby robins and sparrows took out quite a few of my emerging bean plants. They didn’t actually eat the bean sprouts. Instead, they pecked at them, pulled them up, spit them out and looked for worms & beetles that scurried by after they’d disturbed the nearby soil. It was REALLY annoying.
This year, I hope to foil them.
Yesterday, we finally had some warm temperatures, following lots of wonderful rain. My edamame responded, pushing up through the soil and preparing to spread out their first leaves. Soon those birds would see them and begin their pecking and foraging. So, to save my crop from those winged, singing little demons, I spread out a light layer of row cover over the crops. This will help add just a tad more heat to the baby beans, allow moisture to reach them and keep out the birds.