Many species of birds like your fruit bushes as much as you do. This can be annoying, but you do not need to harm them to keep them away from your crops because bird netting can be installed easily and inexpensively.
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Check your plants to make sure there are no broken branches or overgrown vines. If there are damaged limbs, prune these back with a good set of pruning shears before installing the netting.
Determine how much netting you will need. If you have only a couple of small bushes, you could buy netting that is sized specifically for an average bush, or use a pest control bag. If you have several bushes, or even small trees, then you may want to buy the netting by the roll because it will be more economical.
Buy the netting from your local nursery, taking care to ensure that you have the proper type of material for the job. Bird netting is specifically designed to keep birds from getting into your crop. It is also just thick enough that birds cannot destroy it easily with their beaks, yet lightweight enough not to crush the plants. It also allows air, water, and sunlight to easily get to the plants so they may continue to grow normally.
Place the bird netting on your plants. Starting at the top of your plant, simply drape the netting over your bush, taking care not to break off any branches. Leave a little extra netting at the bottom to allow for your plant's growth. If you are using netting from a roll, you may now trim the excess netting with a good pair of scissors.
Clip the netting together at the bottom with a poly clip. This is because other small animals, such as rabbits, could get underneath the netting, or birds may try to fly under it and get trapped. The idea of the netting is to keep both crops and wildlife safe.
Inspect your netting two or three times each season for signs of wear or damage. You will likely not incur any, as this netting is extremely durable and should last for many years.
- Netting should fit loosely without leaving gaps. This netting can also be used to cover vegetable gardens or flowers.
- Wear thick gloves and long sleeves when covering thorny bushes, such as blackberry and raspberry, to avoid being scratched.
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