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Organic Gardening - Flowers, Fruits, Vegetables

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uses for CDs? [Dec. 30th, 2011|12:59 pm]
Organic Gardening - Flowers, Fruits, Vegetables

organic_garden

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I've heard of (and seen) people hanging strings of old CDs around fruit trees to protect the fruit from birds - the reflections are supposed to scare them off.  Does it work?  How thickly do they need to be strung?  How high/low would they need to be to protect the tree top-to-bottom?

Also, has anyone tried placing an old CD (shiny side up) as protection around a veg seedling?  For example, a squash or melon?  I ask because silver reflective mulch is supposed to reflect light onto the undersides of leaves and deter some pests - would a CD be sufficiently reflective?  Could it also work as a sort of cutworm collar?
The CD-around-seedling idea is just one that came to mind this morning; I'm not sure if it would be at all useful.  I don't see references to such an idea online, so figured I'd ask if anyone had tried such a thing.
Possible drawbacks that come to mind:  not water-permeable, so would create a dry zone; contains silver...although hopefully that can't leach out and is only a problem if it melts; could get splashed with mud and then wouldn't be reflective anymore; slugs might hide on the underside.  Thoughts?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: beesandbrews
2011-12-30 10:09 pm (UTC)
The cds are an upscale replacement for pie tins, which have been used this way for ages to scare deer and birds, who don't like the reflective surfaces. You can also use mylar balloons if you have any.

I'd be concerned about strangling the plants if the stems got too thick or possibly burning the undersides of the leaves before the plants leafed out enough to shade them. I'm not sure they'd offer much protection against cutworms or other bugs. Still, no harm trying a few and reporting back with your results.
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[User Picture]From: ladyjanelly
2011-12-31 02:11 am (UTC)
Maybe break the CD in half and tape it back, so you could open it more if the stem got thicker?
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[User Picture]From: permavultur
2011-12-30 10:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've watched old timers place shiny materials underneath plants (can't remember what this deters), around vulnerable stems (think squash vine borer), and hung on strings at varying height near plants. Some bugs hate the bright light, others hate the movement, and others are afraid of their own reflection. CD's I think would have a tendency to constrict the plant if it were to grow through the hole, but you could use halves. (I'm assuming these CDs aren't important to you in any way.) Your only risk is that you might lose wayward CDs in the soil, and sunlight does begin to break down plastics which could then leach into the soil. Aluminum foil and Mylar work, too.
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[User Picture]From: stark404
2011-12-31 12:04 am (UTC)
Companion planting of marigolds will work to deter some types of worms - cutworms, I think, but not sure - so you might want to look into that.
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[User Picture]From: sw33tf00l
2011-12-31 04:54 pm (UTC)
The idea is that the reflections cause movement which suggests predators to the birds. You can combine other things, tight 'humming ribbon'. The best thing to do is put together a strongly made fruit cage

(Use old cartons to protect the mesh and make sure it is well secured at the bottom (birds often try to get in if people just throw some net over, many a time I've rescued a distressed blackbird on our allotments cos people are just too damn lazy to build a proper cage.

reflective mulch or matting is usually used for light/heat hungry plants such as squash, tomatoes or to protect strawberries. Also substances like broken eggshell make it harder for some pests to cross, some folks use shredded newspaper. Of course you need to be sure your paper is veg based and chem free so bit of a drawback there.
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