Monday 30 August 2010

Hair-nets or Pear-nets?

I have a Conference pear tree in the garden. It is only a Minarette so it's never going to produce a massive crop I suppose. This year it has the grand total of FIVE fruits! However, they say that quality is more important than quantity, and a couple of the developing fruits look like very fine specimens. Because of this I am quite keen to ensure that the birds don't steal the pears before I have a chance to pick them (as happened last year!).

Conference pears approaching maturity

What do you think of this bird-deterrent ploy? I have used the nets from some packs of lemons and limes to make "hair-nets" for the fruit. Light and air will be able to reach the fruits, but the birds will be deterred (maybe). You will see that I have left some bits of the labels still attached in order to enhance the bird-scaring effect of these things. I'll let you know how it works out...

The "Pear-nets" in place

Notice the label proclaiming "Bumper pack" -- I wish!

As a footnote: I had always thought of Conference as being self-fertile, but I have read recently that it is only partially self-fertile, and that it will benefit from the presence of another tree for cross-pollination. Maybe this is why although my tree often has plenty of blossom, not many fruits actually set. Many of the fruitlets go yellow and fall off at a very early stage -- presumably because they have not been pollinated. Perhaps I should invest in another tree?? Does anyone know about this sort of thing...?

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