By: Carol Johnson
Protecting our fruits and vegetables from insects, birds and other wildlife is a primary concern of all gardeners. Many plots at MCGA have installed various types of deterrents. Gardeners have installed floating CDs and streamers as well as multiple types of netting.
I have witnessed several instances where birds have been trapped inside netting. They struggle and often become tangled. Recently, another gardener and I had to cut several strands of fine nylon netting away from a tiny bird's leg and talons. I'm happy to report that we were able to save the small bird. Birds and other living creatures such as rabbits, opossums, and even snakes can become entrapped.
While MCGA does not ban netting, we do ask that you be careful and aware of safely installing any such product. Keeping the net pulled tightly over a tall structure that covers the area/plant is suggested. Below is an example, although large, is an upright frame with netting which has been tightly secured at each post and base. This technique is the recommended safe installation. Don't just drape the net over the plant.
Another alternative is a very small mesh material that prevents birds from getting their feet or wings entangled in the holes. It is important to remember to keep the area well protected from invasion by completely securing the material along the ground using heavy wood strips or metal posts.
In conclusion, plan your defense carefully and thoughtfully. Use care when installing materials. Maybe plant extra and forgo the expense. Happy Gardening!