Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

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Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby Systema_Naturae » Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:49 pm

This is a recycled tip, but I have added a drawing with the help of a nephew!

I mentioned this in the first garden tips competition as a means of protecting your vegetable patch.

Image

As the drawing above shows, a simple plant protection structure can be made out of inexpensive materials. The three-hoop system is simply made out of heavy duty plastic water piping - be sure that the gauge you by is flexible enough for the job. It is usually bought in rolls. The cross bar along the top is linked with a length of wire running through it that is wrapped around each of the side hoops. It is best to use two separate pieces of tubing along the top of the hoops, one adjoining the left hand hoop to the center, and another joining the right hand hoop to the center. The hoops don't even need to be attached to the beds themselves - I merely push mine into the soil to the depth of about 6 inches. This makes them easy to remove whenever you are working on the beds.

The type of covering you put over the top of the hoops is up to you. Bird netting will keep the birds and other pests off, such as possums, but a finer netting will even keep cabbage moth off your brassicas. A word of warning on finer netting - if growing vegetables that require pollination, a wider netting gauge is preferred as you don't want to stop the pollinators from getting in.

The dots along the side of the beds are nails that are driven into the beds to act as hooks for the netting you drape over.

The beauty of this system is that you can make the hoops as tall or as short as you need for what ever plants you are growing. I have separate covers that I rotate between beds depending on what I'm growing. For instance, I have a hoop cover that is only about 3 foot high for the root crop bed, but I have another hoop cover that is 6 foot high for vegetables such as tomato and climbing beans that need more height.

Cheers,
John
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Re: Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby brill » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:57 pm

I like this suggestion. We have had massive problems with water fowls eating our Kangaroo Paws and grasses. Soon as we pot them up, they pull them out and chew the leaves off.
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Re: Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby abwal » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:15 pm

John, this idea works very well. I have seem a 'deluxe' version which had wheels attached to side frames so it could be wheeled from garden to garden as needed. In this one, the netting was also attached to the side frames.
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Re: Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby Barbara B » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:22 pm

Hi,
we made some of these from nylon tulle and they work brilliantly.
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190309 Brassica nets.JPG
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Re: Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby Systema_Naturae » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:31 pm

abwal wrote:John, this idea works very well. I have seem a 'deluxe' version which had wheels attached to side frames so it could be wheeled from garden to garden as needed. In this one, the netting was also attached to the side frames.


That's a great idea!

This system is seriously cheap and easy to set up, and equally easy to remove when harvesting/replanting.

Barbara B wrote:Hi,
we made some of these from nylon tulle and they work brilliantly.
Barbara B


Lovely! With the mesh you used, Barbara, it looks like it'd keep cabbage moth off too?

Cheers,
John
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Re: Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby DaisyDewDrop » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:38 am

We made one of these systems to keep the crows off my Mother's strawberry patch. The crows were totally perplexed, :shock: you could see them trying to work it out but hooray they couldn't. (Y)

Oh to be rich enough to have a housekeeper so I could spend all day every day in the garden, come rain, hail or shine. Oh what a dream world I live in.
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Re: Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby Barbara B » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:44 pm

Hi,
we made them specifically to keep the cabbage white butterfly at bay. It means I can grow brassicas any time of year now.
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Re: Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby Systema_Naturae » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:59 pm

DaisyDewDrop wrote:We made one of these systems to keep the crows off my Mother's strawberry patch. The crows were totally perplexed, :shock: you could see them trying to work it out but hooray they couldn't. (Y)


That made me chuckle - I've seen other birds doing exactly the same thing with mine, especially the Indian Mynas! There was a flock of about half a dozen of them milling around my patches a few years ago. I sat inside and watched them. They walked in circles around the beds, as if to get a good idea of what they were dealing with. They then proceeded to try and get up under the mesh, and when this didn't work they began perching on the top cross bars, picking at the netting underneath their feet. They honestly tried every which way to get into the patches - it took them almost an hour - and when they couldn't get in they just gave up and flew away.

It was quite entertaining to watch. It was like a battle of wits going on. At the end of it I triumphantly thought, "John 1, birds 0!"

Barbara B wrote:Hi,
we made them specifically to keep the cabbage white butterfly at bay. It means I can grow brassicas any time of year now.
Barbara B


Excellent!

Cheers,
John
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Re: Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby abwal » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:08 pm

Congratulations, SN.
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Re: Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby Luzy » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:40 am

Congratulations, John. And excellent round-up of an excellent tip - and even better when you can get a chuckle out of Indian mynahs! :D
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Re: Keeping birds and other pests off your vegetables

Postby Bulbinella » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:54 am

Congratulations John (Y)
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