[NAFEX] netting

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Wed Jun 9 10:53:52 EDT 2010

> I've read that the netting doesn't work well draped and needs to be supported. Is this true in everyone's experience?

Generally, I'd say it works much better suspended overhead, rather than 
just draped on the tree or bush, because it mats down the leaves and is 
easily stuck on berries (and on everything else!). If you must leave it 
for very long, some plants will grow into it, making it difficult to 
remove later. (Grapevines are particularly bad at this.)

But you don't need anything too elaborate to suspend bird netting. I've 
bought some 1" PVC, cut it to length, and put a "t" on top. It's easy to 
set up temporarily. I can run a thin cord between two of them to cover a 
longer area - or indeed run a thin cord between almost anything. There's 
very little weight on the netting, after all.

And as long as most of the netting is suspended overhead, I can usually 
live with it draped on part of the plant. (Note that, if birds can get 
at the fruit through the netting, they will. And this partial reward 
will also cause them to work really hard at getting through the netting, 
and might increase the likelihood that they get tangled up in it.)

You need to make sure there's not loose netting draped on the ground, 
because birds will get caught in that very easily. (Really, loose 
netting anywhere can be bad.) I set up a temporary chickenwire fence to 
cover the bottom part of the tree or bush. Fasten the netting to that, 
with the excess on the INSIDE, and there's no problem. (Someone here 
recommended that. I don't remember who, but THANK-YOU.) Make sure there 
aren't any gaps, because birds WILL find them. Then they won't be able 
to get out again.

Ideally, you want the netting high enough that you can work underneath 
it (for picking berries and such). The netting will snag on you, too, if 
you brush against it, which can be a real pain. But one season should be 
enough to show you what works and what doesn't.

Yeah, netting is a pain to put up and take down, but it's really worth 
it. (Note that I'm just talking about backyard use. I don't know how 
orchards do this stuff. And if you've got room, a permanent structure 
would no doubt be very nice - assuming that you left it big enough for 
future growth and to work inside.)

Lincoln, NE (zone 5)


I can imagine no greater misfortune for a cultured people than to see in 
the hands of the rulers not only the civil, but also the religious 
power. - Caius Valerius Catullus (87-54 BCE)

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