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Sparrows eating runner bean flowers

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  • Sparrows eating runner bean flowers

    Well, just when you think things cant get worse for pests, one of the few successful things I can grow and this year sparrows are eating the flowers, despite me feeding them all year round. In fact, I cant grow peas because of them and now beans! this never used to be a problem. As my garden is very small its impossible to cover them. For the life of me I don’t know why they are becoming so destructive. I love birds but this is very annoying. Sparrows are becoming a pest.

    Any tips of deterring them ?

  • #2
    When I have seen sparrows on runner beans they have been taking caterpillars off to feed to there squibs. They also remove greenfly too when they run out of cterpillars.
    Excess heat and low humidity is the most common reason for runner beans not setting.
    I sometimes spray the leaves with water if it gets very hot.

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    • #3
      Suspend some old CDs or strips of aluminium foil so they move in the wind, that should keep the off. It worked for my Red currants and strawsberries.
      Gardening requires a lot of water - most of it in the form of perspiration. Lou Erickson, critic and poet

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      • #4
        I had this problem last year. Had to net them in the end.

        Are you certain you can't cover them? I really can't conceive of a space so small you couldn't just toss a net over the bean supports.

        Same with the peas. Mine were getting devoured by sparrows earlier in the year, so I netted them. You don't need normal netting for peas, either, as they are self-pollinating so you don't need to let insects in. You can use any other mesh or fleece you have to hand (although if you are buying something especially, netting is usually the cheapest).

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        • #5
          Well I tried the compact disks and still they attack the flowers so that is a fallacy.

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          • #6
            I haven't got a recipe for sparrow pie, so I use netting and old cd's, works for me.
            If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Plot70 View Post
              When I have seen sparrows on runner beans they have been taking caterpillars off to feed to there squibs. They also remove greenfly too when they run out of cterpillars.
              Excess heat and low humidity is the most common reason for runner beans not setting.
              I sometimes spray the leaves with water if it gets very hot.
              I'd second what Plot70 says here.. I've never seen birds eating the flowers, just the bugs, and hot weather is a problem for runner bean flowers setting. I've taken to always giving the runner bean plants a misting with a hose when they are in flower to help them set
              Shortie

              "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children; one of these is roots, the other wings" - Hodding Carter

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Shortie View Post

                I'd second what Plot70 says here.. I've never seen birds eating the flowers, just the bugs, and hot weather is a problem for runner bean flowers setting. I've taken to always giving the runner bean plants a misting with a hose when they are in flower to help them set
                Sparrows eat the flowers, believe me. I've seen them do it to mine. It's not poor setting which is the issue - the flowers can't set if they've been shredded before they even open by sparrows.

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                • #9
                  Aaaahhh I stand corrected in that case I have never seen birds doing that before
                  Shortie

                  "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children; one of these is roots, the other wings" - Hodding Carter

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                  • #10
                    I think it takes just one bird to try it and soon you have a whole flock of them pecking at your crops.

                    Marb if your garden is enclosed maybe you don’t have enough of a breeze for the cd’s to do their job.

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                    • #11
                      One thing I have used successfully round young pea plants to stop birds eating the shoots is black cotton. The birds can't see it and don't like it. Its harder with beans as they are much bigger, but if you tie cotton round the supports at intervals it might help to deter them. The cotton probably needs to be tight, not just trailing.
                      A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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