Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Netting the Garden

image via
Cabbage moths and caterpillars of all descriptions, snails and chickens are my top garden pests. Keeping them off of my leafy greens is a constant chore. So I began to use a vegetable netting that enables airflow, but is thick enough to keep out cabbage moths (if applied to the garden bed properly).

But then comes the summer fruit season, and another group of pests ravage my trees. The rainbow parrots, galahs and cockatoos do the worst damage, striping the fruit even before its had a chance to ripen.

So last year, I started to net my fruit trees with anti-bird netting. I make a specific point of mentioning this because not all netting is good (safe) for birds as they can become entangled in the wrong type of netting. And I could not use the same type of garden bed netting as it would prevent the bees and other beneficial insects from visiting those trees. Always make sure you ask for anti-bird netting at your local hardware store or nursery that is wildlife friendly.


Keeping it closed

When erecting any netting its really important that it is fully covered and the base is enclosed as much as possible to prevent any sneak attacks.

Trees
Using twisty ties or t-shirt material 'string' is the best way to attach netting at the base of the canopy of a tree, around the trunk. If you find it difficult to close up all the gathers effectively, attach Christmas bells that ring as soon as bird brushes against it acting as a bird scarer.

If birds attempt to peck at the fruit through the netting, use silver reflective objects such as disposable pie tins or old CDs attached to the tree or netting to scare the birds.

Some trees, such as apricots can be netted slightly differently.
Rather than covering the whole tree, use organza jewellery gift pouches that have draw strings or fleece fruit bags which are available from selected stores. Individual fruit is then covered until they ripen. They will still be small enough to take out of the bags when fully ripened.

Remember to remove the netting before fruit tree pruning season and only re-net once the fruit has begun to set. Leaving the netting on means that branches will grow through and new fruit will not be covered.

Vegetables
For netting vegetables, some gardeners like to use pvc piping or bamboo sticks as the frame work so as not to crush the plants. Sealing the netting is a little more tricky. Rocks and bricks are commonly used to hold down the edge of the netting, but also wire U-stakes or inserting a pvc pipe into a sewn pocket in the netting can also work.

But if rabbits and other wild life are more the problem, then tighter chicken/aviary wire might be the solution rather than just netting.


Products

There are so many products available now to make netting your plants even easier from these Australian stores.


Individual Netting Bags

Comnet 25 x 43cm Netting Bags from Bunnings ($3.49)

Organza Jewellery/Gift Bags with draw strings on eBay



Vegetable Garden Netting

Veggie Saver Garden Net from GardenExpress.com.au ($63)


Easy Net Tunnel from GardenWare.com.au ($40-60)




Fruit Tree Netting

Pro Choice 4 x 4m 5mm Aperture Anti Bird Netting from Bunnings ($12.68)


Mini Fruit Saver Net from GardenExpress.com.au ($46)


Fruit Saver Nets from FruitTreeNets.info





2 comments:

  1. These are all great ideas, I would also like to suggest us. Klever Cages , we sell PVC connectors and pipe to make anything you want including cages to protect your garden. For these cages you are able to purchase hinges for a door , netting with stainless steel thread in it to keep the bigger ones out and Snapclamps to keep the netting tight as not to hurt any animals. Come and visit and have a look at the photos of our customers projects - Rob

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are all great ideas, I would also like to suggest us. Klever Cages , we sell PVC connectors and pipe to make anything you want including cages to protect your garden. For these cages you are able to purchase hinges for a door , netting with stainless steel thread in it to keep the bigger ones out and Snapclamps to keep the netting tight as not to hurt any animals. Come and visit and have a look at the photos of our customers projects - Rob

    ReplyDelete