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 A Garden Experiment

A Garden Experiment


Gardening is about experimentation. If you search that phrase on my blog you’ll find 18 posts where I describe some garden experiment. I’ve grown quinoa, ‘Blue Jade’ corn in a small garden, kohlrabi, ‘Indigo Rose’ tomatoes, micro greens and novelty crops as garden experiments.

Problem: Birds are eating some of our apricots. The harvest is nearly over and I want to protect the remainder. Most of the apricots are within reach but exposed. I suspect it might be hooded orioles living in nearby palms that are sampling our cots.

Hooded oriole in San Diego County

Hooded oriole in San Diego County

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Solution: Hang Cleveland sage branches around the apricots to fend off the birds. I have no evidence that this will work but the branches may make it harder to get at the apricots. But my experimental hypothesis is that the pungent (but pleasant to me) smell of the sage may discourage the birds. My sage bush benefitted from the winter rains and needed shaping to keep it off the sidewalk.

Salvia ‘Pozo Blue’

Salvia ‘Pozo Blue’

But, do birds have a sense of smell? I Googled that question and found the subject addressed on the Audubon website. You can read the answer to the question, “Do birds have a sense of smell here. To summarize:

Although scientists have traditionally thought of birds as lacking in the olfaction department, they have proved that many detect aromas and use them-to varying degrees-to select mates, forage, and locate nesting spots.

Several questions remain: will sage branches hung near ripening apricots deter bird snacking? If it does, is it due to to smell of the sage or the obstructive placement of the branches, or both? I may never know, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to harvest the last of the apricots. I’ll post a follow-up in a week or so. Gardening is about experimentation.

EG Apricots 2012.JPG
Celery in SoCal Summer

Celery in SoCal Summer

In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen

In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen