Caging the blueberries

blueberry cage 1

A few improvements to the veggie garden this spring:

blueberry cage 2

We’ve tried everything to keep the birds out of our blueberries, with no luck – the word is out, and every season they pretty much decimate the harvest from our dozen our so blueberry plants.  So, this year my friend and general contractor constructed this ingenious blueberry cage:

blueberry cage 3

blueberry cage 5

It spans the entire blueberry patch and covers it on all sides and across the top with sturdy deer fencing, spanned between pressure treated boards.

blueberry cage 4

The door is on a hinge so that it swings shut behind you, and the deer fencing can be easily repaired if it gets torn or if the leaves or snow (not that we get much) weight it down on top.  I’m so impressed with the design and the overall look of the structure!

veggie beds 1

We also capped the veggie beds (building instructions here) with pressure-treated boards, to give additional structure to the beds and to keep them from bowing out over time.  Plus, it makes them look nicer, and gives me a place to lean or sit when planting, weeding, or harvesting from the beds.

veggie beds 2

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26 comments on “Caging the blueberries

  1. Love the blueberry cage idea! We just moved into a house that has 5 growing blueberry bushes and I never even thought of birds as an issue. Guess I have a little bit of time to think up a solution!

  2. This is exactly what I need/want! Thanks for the plans. Below poverty level income makes this beyond affordable, but I’ll do what I can with your ideas. My wood box has finally composted and will not be usable next year. I put 2 blueberry bushes in container pots and will not be able to have the nice cages around them here at the apartments, but will have to use netting to cover them. What a great site this is, I will visit often!

  3. Phenomenal look. I hadnt thought of making the blueberry cage, and found similar raised beds elsewhere. Those in combination look wonderful. Going to have to steal the idea from you 🙂

  4. Hi! Please tell me about your irrigation system in your beds. Thanks!

    • In the raised beds, we have small microspray emitters – they’re connected by 1/4″ irrigation tubing, and each bed has its own shut-off valve, so that you can run the water in some beds, and shut it off in others. We previously tried drip emitters, but the holes kept getting clogged. The nice thing about the micxospray emitters is that you can raise or lower them, as the plants grow, and you can adjust the amount and reach of the spray from each emitter by turning the emitter’s head.

  5. I own a 4plex in the Boise, ID and have recently moved into one of the units from a house on one acre of land. I want to build four of the raised beds on one of the lawn areas in the back of the building – one for each tenant, or not. Thank you for the plans; my handyman/contractor is a visual kinda guy and your plans are perfect…he will get it. .

  6. I really like your blueberry cage. I have been thinking about doing something similar. What are the dimensions and height?

  7. Love the raised garden beds. My friends built three of them and I fell in love. Am in the middle of making one for my yard and will be making 2 more for my friend. Very simple plan and easy to make. Thanks!!

  8. Nice pictures and plan ideas. Thank you for taking the time to share. I am building some of these for my father (who is up in years)

  9. Great ideas here! Thank you so much for posting them. Quick question, where did you get your drip irrigation and spray emitters from? I’m converted to drip irrigation and have several runs of hoses with the emitters built into them, but I have also started to run bubbler drips to single plants like peppers. I’ve been getting most of my supplies from online sites as the box stores don’t have the type I’m looking for.

    Thank you again for all your ideas!

  10. Hasn’t your galvanized metal contact with pressure treated wood caused galvanic corrosion? How has soil contact directly with the galvanized siding held up?

    • No problems with corrosion of either wood or the galvanized metal panels after several years – both soil and metal are holding up without any signs of problems 🙂

  11. If you’re on a budget I built my Mom a blue berry cage out of 2×2’s and used plastic netting. We leave the netting up year round. It is plenty strong enough to keep the birds out. There is no issue with deer in her area. It is several years old and still very stable. the Cage is 8′ tall and the door is just overlapped netting. the netting is long and lays on the ground. it is secured by boards and dirt. We found we had to close every gap as the birds found every one. In our yard the gap under the pictured door would be a highway. I bet the owner finds he will need to install a drag flap. Great Ideas. thanks for the fine site.

  12. So I was wondering how I can make these for a patio? What can I put on the bottom since they would be sitting on concrete and not open to grass/dirt/ground?

    • I think the best way to do this would be to set the corner posts into the earth on the outside edges of your concrete patio.

  13. We build very similar beds. To keep out the snails we run two circles of exposed copper wire about a 1/4 inch apart (not touching). Then we hook up a 9V battery to each. Just enough juice to zap the snails.

  14. what are your thoughts re: growing veg in raised beds of pressure treated wood and galvanized metal? any concerns of heavy metals leaching into the soil and into the produce?
    you have a wonderful site, filled with great ideas.
    thank you!

    • I haven’t had any problems or concerns – I know that others have raised this same issue, but I’m not aware of any established health risks. For me, I have been gardening in beds made from treated lumber for over 20 years, and never noted any ill effects.

  15. I love the raised beds! Could you tell me the measurements on the 8″ boards? We’re pricing out materials at Home Depot and I just want to be sure we order correctly 🙂

    • You will need six 8-foot boards (2″x4″) – these will but cut into four 4-foot lengths and four 8-foot lengths. You will also need an additional 12-foot board (2″x4″) cut into eight pieces, each 16.5 inches long. So, in total you need 59 feet of 2″x4″ boards. Hope that helps

      • Is that for the boards that cap the beds as well? They looked like a 6″ or 8″ board, and I should have clarified that I was looking at the boards that cap the bed. Sorry about that! Were the boards capping the beds cut into 4′ and 8′ pieces?

        Thanks! 🙂

  16. Nice structure but it drove the price of your berries out the roof!
    As a master gardener, I am concerned about the use of bird netting here. Too many birds can get hung up (especially hummers) and die horrible deaths. I suggest using chicken wire or metal screen instead and monitor the structure often during berry season.
    If your readers do not want to invest so much, visit my blog and in the search bar, type “blueberry” and see what I use here in central VA.

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