Protect Your Garden from Birds and Rodents
After you have spent the last few weeks or months sowing garden seeds, thinning the seedlings, and fertilizing and watering your plants, you expect and deserve a bountiful harvest. But as soon as the first edible fruits and vegetables appear, you may find yourself watching birds, rodents, and other animals decimate your garden right before your eyes.
It’s inevitable for wild animals to be attracted to the fruits of your hard labor, but you don’t have to share with them. To keep birds and rodents away from your plants, we recommend the installation of garden netting. It’s easy to do, and you can protect your harvest effectively without harming the animals.
When to Install Garden Netting
When it comes to gardening, there is a time for everything. There is a time to sow, there is a time to fertilize, and there is a time to install netting.
Generally, birds are not going to be attracted to your garden until the fruits and vegetables are ready to eat. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about putting up netting until your plants have matured. The best time to put it up is after pollination has occurred and while the fruits and vegetables are still small and unripe.
How to Use Garden Netting on Trees
Birds and other animals don’t steal fruits and vegetables just from your garden. They’ll also find fruit on your trees. Whether you have an entire orchard or just a couple of fruit trees, you probably don’t want birds to harvest in your stead. We have found that netting works really well for fruit trees. You may need someone to help you install the netting; at the very least, you’ll need a tall ladder to reach high enough.
Before you get started, we recommend checking your trees for birds and birds’ nests first to avoid trapping any inside of your netting. If you’re allowed to do so by law, then you should remove any nests before proceeding. The netting needs to be draped over your entire tree, from the top down to the ground. Then you can wrap and twist the ends around at the bottom of the tree trunk. We know it sounds easy to do, but it’s going to require a little bit more effort than putting netting around your garden.
How to Keep Birds Away from Your Produce
Birds quickly find new food sources, which is partly why putting up bird feeders is so effective for people who like to bird watch. But if you want birds to stay away from your yard, then we recommend the following tips:
- Install bird netting before the fruits and vegetables are ripe for picking
- Take down bird feeders permanently
- Consider putting up another type of bird deterrent
- Remove water sources (birds like baths and also need to drink)
- Remove any nests you find if legally allowed (may have to do this repeatedly)