Nope. That's not a spelling mistake this time.
And it's more like oh deer, rabbits, squirrels and birds.
Some years the wildlife has absolutely ravaged my gardens.
Not only eating all the bounty but stomping (deer again!) all over what's left of my plants.
Sob story! I can't take it any more. Time to take action.
But my blueberries are precious. If left unattended, the birds will peck away at every last one.
Don't they know there's a convenient full service bird feeder just 30 feet away?
Squirrels and rabbit nibble at my crops and leave the rest! What nerve. You should see what they did to my tomatoes one year.
Netting. It's the wave of the future.
So today, Tom and I are going to tell you how we netted our blueberries to protect them from the wildlife in our yard.
Although our focus is berries, you can do this with your tomatoes, squash, cucumbers or whatever plants your are protecting in your yard!
A couple years ago the town repaired the end of our driveway due to a water leak.
They left all of the steel concrete form stakes and never picked them up. After weeks turned into months we assumed they weren't coming for them.
Waste not want not.
Tom put them in the garage and decided this was their chance to get repurposed and used!
Our advice is that you do the same. See if you already have what you need from the supply list below and can "make do."
But for anything missing, you can buy this stuff at all those "big box" home improvement stores or on Amazon.
- 1/2" 10 foot piece of conduit (one per bush or every couple feet if it's a hedge)
- Concrete stakes
- Bird netting (big enough for your area)
- Tape measure
- 6" galvanized steel landscape staples
- Sledge Hammer (to hit the steel concrete stakes)
Step 1 - Place a metal stake 3' away from each bush on one side of hedge
You'll see further down that a couple of the metal stakes were too wide at the end so Tom flipped them and went flat side down and point up.
If the ground is a little wet you won't have too much trouble getting them in. But if you've had a dry spell, hit that sledge hammer with all your might!
Step 2- Place tapered conduit end over steel stake
Step 3 place opposite of conduit in wet ground
Ideally you would use one piece of conduit per bush.
Step 4 Slowly unravel bird netting starting at one end
You can accidentally get tangled in the blueberries and the last thing you want to do is lose some because of the netting!
Step 5 Slowly stake in netting keeping it as tight as possible
They found an opening in the netting so don't hold back using as many landscape staples as needed.
Esther helped me get the four birds escape!
Another conduit hoop would be much better. The singular post can cause the net to rip which doesn't happen with the hoops.
If you don't have metal concrete stakes you have several options. One would be just to bury both sides in the ground.
The other is put a 90 degree elbow at each end and run another piece of conduit of pvc and connect it to the other side.
It's time to beat the birds and enjoy EVERY blueberry.