Keep birds out of your berries & five more tips for growing food

netting over berry bushes in vegetable garden Lockport NYby Connie Oswald Stofko

You may remember Jim Gugliuzza of Lockport, who earlier showed us how to braid garlic.

He has large fruit and vegetable plots in his yard on Walnut Street that he shared during Lockport in Bloom in July. The sign that hangs there sums it up– Check it out below right.

Gugliuzza had lots of great information on growing fruits and vegetables. Here are seven tips I hope you find useful:

Keep birds out of your berries.

I loved this simple way to install netting to deter birds.Without the netting to defend the berries, Gugliuzza said, “The birds would clean them out!”

PVC pipe forms the pillars to hold up the netting, and plastic food containers set atop the pipes form just enough of a platform so the netting doesn’t snag. Boards set on the netting keep it anchored to the ground so it won’t wave in the signs in Lockport NY

Save time harvesting by bringing in the neighbors.

When his raspberries are in season, Gugliuzza will get four to six pints of fruit every three days. He’s happy to share with his neighbors, but instead of handing out the fruit, he calls different neighbors and gives each a turn to come and pick their own.

“Picking is what takes time,” he said.

Have an empty space? Insert string beans.

Gugliuzza uses string bean plants as filler wherever he has an empty spot in his huge vegetable plots.

Stagger planting times for corn.

caraway plants in Lockport NYGugliuzza plants corn every two weeks and gets corn from July through September. (He usually plants corn around May 1, but because he had so much rain, he had to wait until May 14.)

Buy the proper equipment.

Gugliuzza has a lot that is 700 feet deep, and having the proper equipment helps gets the work done quickly and efficiently.

He suggests getting a rototiller to work the ground. In mid-September, all the plants that are done get worked into the ground.

Try something new.

I never saw a caraway seed outside of a loaf of rye bread, and never gave much thought to where they come from. Gugliuzza planted caraway for the first time this season, which you can see in the photo at left. The plant gets pods that contain seeds.

Feel free to experiment in your garden and try something new.

Photos by Connie Oswald Stofko

1 Comment on “Keep birds out of your berries & five more tips for growing food

  1. I like Jim’s added safety measure on top of the PVC pipe. His tips are very helpful too. I have done the string bean tip and I concur, it is a great filler plant and the vine has pretty flowers, same with peas.

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