Gardening: Bird Netting for Berry Bushes
Growing season is fully in bloom in Southern Idaho, and I am getting excited about the berries in our box! However, last year we only were able to harvest a hand full of delicious & fresh strawberries because the birds loved them as much as we do. So this year I want to be a step ahead of them by putting up a bird net! This was a simple and frugal DIY gardening project! Protect your berries and put up your own net this week with these three steps!
I went shopping at Lowe’s because they have been very friendly to me in the past as I navigate the store with 4 curious kids and a list of things that I’m not familiar with. I stopped in the garden department to begin with and grabbed the bird netting I needed and then went inside to plumbing for the PVC pipe. The conduit straps and cable ties are over in Electric, and the screws are in hardware if you don’t already have them on hand. Since you have your list (below) you can also shop here and have the supplies you need waiting for you at the front counter with their store pickup option!!
What you’ll need: (For RAISED bed boxes)
- (3) 1/2″ x 10′ Plumbing PVC pipe – $5.16
- (1) Package cable ties/zip ties: 8 in, 30 pk – $2.73
- (2) 1/2″ 2 hole conduit strap: 2pack – $2.18
- (1) 14′ x 14′ Bird Netting – $5.98
- (12) 1 1/4″ screws – I already had these
- Drill (and a FULL battery) with phillips head bit and drill bit to get the holes started
- Phillips head screwdriver if you’re like me and don’t charge the battery before hand. 🙂
Line up the conduit straps and screw in each side just until the screws are secure. Then place the PVC pipe into the strap, and tighten the screws until secure. The first time I did this I screwed them all the way in, but it was WAY too tight to wiggle the pipe in, so I learned my lesson on that first one. (**If you have a drill and pre-drill the hole it will make the whole process go a lot faster.**) Repeat this step with the conduit strap on the opposite side of the box and bend the pipe to make your first arch. Our box is 8 feet long, so I did three arches so that there would be enough support for the netting. You can do more or less depending on the length of your box. Complete this process for each of the arches that you are planning for.
Once you have all of your arches in place, you’ve done all of the hard work! 🙂 Next, unravel the netting and drape over the arches. I fastened the netting by using a cable tie/zip tie directly through the (3) conduit straps on the BACK of the box so that the netting wouldn’t move once it was on there. Next, at the middle of the arch use another cable tie to secure the netting. As I began this project I thought that I would do something fancy to lift up the netting in order to weed and harvest the strawberries, but as I got going I noticed that the netting was staying put as I pulled out the slack. So, instead of securing the front part of the box, I just tucked it in front so that I can lift it up as needed.
On the ends of the box I had the extra netting, so I rolled it into itself up by starting at the top and working my way down the netting to the bottom of the box. At the bottom of the roll I secured it with another cable tie. After I was through with that, I trimmed off about 2 feet of netting, and I was finished!
There you have it! Three easy and pretty quick steps to a protected berry box! It took me about 45 minutes in all to complete the project. **On a side note: while I was working on this today I wondered if the bees would still be able to get through and that question was quickly answered as the humming of the worker bees was all around me.
We also have a raspberry box that I covered using the left over netting. I chose not to cover the entire box because I haven’t seen the birds going after the raspberries as much, but I will certainly be watching for that more closely this year.
I also wanted to follow up with you on my raspberry box. Last month I showed you how to prune and get your raspberry bushes ready for spring, so I wanted to give you the comparison pictures so you can see how healthy they are and how well they are doing. The bees are busy buzzing around in the bushes, the blooms are giving way to fruit, and I’m expecting we’ll be able to enjoy these delicious berries before we know it!
Here is an example of the netting that can be used for the bird netting. This one ships free with Prime, so if you already have the other things handy, this would make a convenient way to get this to your home.
Bird Block Protective Mesh – $8.47
Ships Free with Amazon Prime (Try a FREE Membership)
- Reusable; made of tough and durable polypropylene
- 7-Foot x 20-foot netting – great size for covering the whole berry box!
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd edition – $16.96 Paperback
Ships Free with Amazon Prime (Try a FREE Membership)
I love referencing this book, and keep it handy any time I am heading out to the garden. In my opinion it was one of the best investments that I made when I started my own garden!
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