Strawberry Rocks have been floating around Pinterest for a while now. The legend goes if you put these painted rocks next to your strawberry plants before strawberries start to grow you can trick those pesky birds who love to devour these sweet treats.
They spot your big, plump red “strawberries”, fly over for a nibble or two, start to peck away and think to themselves “Man! This lady is a terrible gardener! These strawberries are hard as rocks!!” They go back with a tweaked-beak and tell all their feathered friends to not bother with your horrible crop this year.
The first thing to do is to go on a rock gathering walk. Our seasonal creek was dry at this time so we walked along keeping our eyes out for any triangle/strawberry-shaped rocks. Once we had a couple of baskets full I washed them then laid them outside to dry to get ready for their first layer of paint. I had a bucket of white paint already so that’s what I used. Spray painting would be very easy.
Some of these rocks aren’t the best shapes, but why be picky? They’re for the birds, remember! Painting the rocks white first allows the red paint to really shine. You could skip this part and start with the red, but your rocks will be quite a bit duller in color. Duller in color? Is that even a word? Oh well… you get it! Let sit until dry, or wait a day like we did before moving on to the next step. This time I spray painted them a bright red and let them dry for an hour or two. Then flipped them over and sprayed the back side.
Again, never-mind the shapes! The one on the bottom right looks more like a red pepper but hey! That big juicy berry just might be the one that all the birdies want to fight over! We let the rocks sit another day before decorating our rocks with ‘leaves.’ You could use green craft paint and a brush.
This is the most time consuming part of the project. But pull up a chair, enjoy a cool breeze and listen to the birdies sing up in the trees where they are supposed to be. Remember the criteria we had when searching for our rocks in the creek bed? That we looked for triangle shaped rocks? Well pick up a rock and try to imagine it actually being a strawberry. Now take your paint pen and loopy-loop around the top of your berry. Fill it in so the whole top part is green. The paint pens dried incredibly fast and I was able to set them down almost immediately. When all the leaves were done we took the black pen and traced around the edge, drew little lines at the top and then polka-dotted for seeds.
I actually cheated and only traced and seeded the top part of the strawberries. Don’t judge me! You’re never going to see the backside anyway! Turned out better then you thought, huh? Good enough to fool the birdies at least!
I’m glad the paint pens dry so fast because we were WAY excited to put them around our plants as little tiny strawberries were already starting to grow.
We were even careful to place them just how the strawberries will grow with the leaves facing the plant. Doing our best to trick those pesky birds!