[NAFEX] {NAFEX] varmints and netting

eric plumhillfarm at gmavt.net
Tue Nov 27 19:51:04 EST 2007

We use "monofilament" netting extensively in our orchard, and hate it
because it catches on everything. It however, increases our fruit harvest by
50-100% (depending on how well the birds like the particular fruit tree). 
We bought a 5000' roll 17' wide (~$1200), pull off ~ 50-60' sections fold it
in half then sew up the top with plastic baling twine. These last for years
(3-5 yr depending on how badly you get them stuck taking them off). To put
them over the trees, we use 10' 1-1/4" white PVC pipe (doesn't catch the
net), Fold the net in half so the "closed end" and the "open end" are
together (open end on top) and away from the tree and with one person on
each side using the poles, lift up and place the netting to the middle of
the tree, then pull the top folded part the rest of the way over the tree.
We  then close the netting using clothes pins. It takes ~ 10-15 min to put
on a 10 -12' tree, and less time to get it off. Larger trees take more work,
and we use scraps as "skirts" on larger trees. We catch a few birds, most
get chased out when we see them.
We have ~ 300 trees which ripen from early July to late Sept (90 varities)
so cannot depend on the "mass effect" (ie to much fruit for the birds to eat
it all), and  move the nets tree to tree as they ripen. I wish they made
netting for Japanese Beetles.
The rules are PVC poles, no buttons, sneakers not boots, and lift, don't
Eric White
Plum Hill Farm
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