Harmonious Homestead
Connecting Farms & Families In Central Ohio

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connecting food and families in Columbus Ohio

Bird Netting EVERYWHERE: Why and How

pea shoots under bird netting Just after the second set of pea leaves appeared, birds started eating them.  I blame sparrows, the possibly invasive species that seem to swarm our neighborhood in the spring.

So, bird netting is on the peas.

strawberries with bird netting

Last year we lost strawberries to the squirrels.  Even with Alex's not exactly legit squirrel hunting, they still come around.

Bird netting is on the strawberries.

four seasons lettuce covered by bird netting

Then I noticed that despite plenty of rain and sun the lettuce just never seemed to grow.

belgian endive with bird netting

Five days of bird netting and the leaves are rounded and growing.  Same with the endive.

As much as I hate covering everything in little bits of plastic, I raise plants for me!  Go away birds and squirrels!!

If you struggle with critters eating your plants, netting might be the answer:

  • Purchase an appropriate quantity of netting. I have two 14x14 foot packs I purchased from the local nursery for about $6 each.
  • While it is still carefully folded, cut to the length of your garden bed.
  • Spread each piece gently over top of the crop you are protecting. It doesn't have to be perfectly aligned. If your area is particularly windy, use several small sticks to secure the corners.
  • When plants have been established, you can try removing the netting. Gently peel it away from the plants, unwinding tendrils if they have grown through the netting.
  • Fold your netting to reuse next year. It never seems to pack down to the size it was when I purchased, so we keep a large grocery bag filled with folded up pieces of netting.
  • Enjoy your peas/berries/lettuces munch free!