Cultivation is a tedious job. It requires tremendous effort, hard work and safety- Safety in terms of the weather oddities, stray animals, diseases, pests, and not to forget the predator birds.
Predator birds are a great danger to your standing crop. Birds come in flocks, and ruin everything in their way. They damage fruits by tearing them apart or pecking small holes; thus, render them unvendable.
To counter the possible bird attack, bird netting is an effective and practical way to stop those pesky predators from entering your orchard. A bird net is a twisted and knitted mesh, available in various colors, and specifications to protect fruits or flowers from birds and pests.
- Netting is among the most economical, efficient, and reliable bird control methods. It is regarded as highly effective in protecting the orchards from pest birds and insects by blocking their entry.
Following are the important functions that netting serves.
- Netting is a great solution to block any type of bird from destroying edible crops. It is available in various mesh sizes to obstruct all sizes of birds, including starlings, sparrows, gulls, pigeons, etc.
- Birds not only destroy gardens by piercing them, but they also daub them with their smelly droppings. So, bird netting helps gardeners to protect their crops from disease-causing droppings.
- Netting makes the garden impenetrable for birds and small animals. It does not block the sunlight and moisture from reaching the plants. Thus, the quality of the fruits is not compromised.
- Gardeners prefer using bird netting as it is simple, affordable, and easy to clean.
Types of Fruit Tree Netting:
A variety of anti-bird netting is available in the market. So, it is very easy to get confused. Each type is designed to serve a specific function. Some are best to obstruct birds, while others work efficiently against pests only.
Bird netting is installed to combat the entry of birds into a specific area. It can be installed horizontally, vertically, or in any other orientation to make the orchard inaccessible to pest birds. Bird nets are available in a whole range of sizes, allowing the users to select the one suitable for their gardens. These lightweight nets are efficient in protecting fruit plants and shrubs from sparrows, gulls, crows, pigeons, etc.
A number of chemical pesticides are available in the market to protect orchards from insects. However, these pesticides have become less efficient as the insects, over the time, develop resistance against them. So, the best solution to keep pests away from your garden is eco -friendly insect netting.
It contains a small mesh size, suitable to allow sunlight, air, and rainwater besides stopping pest’s invasion. For example, butterfly netting is used to keep butterflies away. It is essential to block the entry of butterflies into orchards as they often lay eggs. Upon hatching their caterpillars can destroy gardens in no time.
Shade netting is ideal for shielding small and large gardens from heavy rains or scorching sunlight. It provides uniform shadow to plants while preventing harmful UV rays that are injurious to plants. It is preferred as it is durable, lightweight, and cost-effective.
Things to consider while choosing a net:
Here are important things to look for while choosing a net for your orchard.
- Material: Fabricated with durable and high-quality high-density polyethylene and nylon.
- Net hole size: Appropriate net holes depending upon the size of birds you want to restrict.
- Fixtures and fittings: Stainless steel fixtures and fittings to prevent anti-bird netting from rusting.
- Durability: Strong and versatile, durable for ten years.
- UV protection: Made from UV stabilized material to protect against intense UV rays.
- Weight: Lightweight yet strong enough to protect plants from hail.
- Easy to use: Does not tangle and easy to fold and unfold.
Different fruits require different netting:
It is a great effort to cultivate an orchard. But birds take no time to ruin it. So, prevent those birds from destroying your crop, by mounting a net around it.
However, there are different nets for each crop, such as apples, strawberries, blueberries, and grapes. To achieve the maximum protection against pest birds and insects, it is imperative to select one that complies with your orchard type.
|Apple||EYOUAGRO Hail Netting||3X3mm,|
|Grapes||EYOUAGRO Vineyard Netting||4mm x 7mm||50-60grm||5-8 years|
|Strawberry Blueberry||EYOUAGRO Bird Netting||15mmX15mm|
Choose the size of the net according to the purpose:
Though netting is effective in protecting the orchards from birds and insects, a single type cannot offer safety against all the predators. For example, insects and small birds cannot be obstructed by large mesh netting.
Thus, proper netting size is paramount to keep all sorts of birds and pests far away from your orchard.
Consider the guide to choose the most appropriate size for your garden.
|Pests & Animals to be blocked||Mesh size|
|Flea beetles, Aphids, Leek moth||0.8mm|
|Butterfly, Carrot fly, Onion fly||1.3-1.4mm|
|Sparrows and Swallows||19mm|
Orchard size to confirm the quantity of netting
Before buying a net, it is crucial to evaluate the appropriate mesh’s size. For getting the perfect piece, an accurate calculation of the area is required to achieve maximum protection and also save money.
In the case of a tree with 10’tallness and 2′ width, the following method can calculate the netting size:
((10’+9’) x2) by (10’+9’) x2)
(19″ x2) by (19″ x2)
38’x38′ netting is required.
To calculate the netting dimensions for a tunnel, the following method is used to determine netting size.
Netting size =width in ft x length in ft.
If a tunnel is 4′ tall and 10’long then, netting size can be calculated as:((4’+4′) x1.5) by ((4’x2) +10′)
(8’x1.5) by (8’+10″)
12′ x 18′ netting size is required for the tunnel.
In the case of protecting a rectangular-shaped orchard, netting size can be determined by the following formula:
Netting size= (height +width +height) by (height +length + height)
If the garden is 80 ft long,30 ft wide, and 8 ft tall then;
(8’+30+8) by (8’+80’+8′)
46′ x46′ is the perfect size to enclose the orchard.
Appropriate installation method: Tunnel or Overhand or Canopy
After selecting accurate bird netting, proper installation is also important to achieve the desired results. There are several methods for net installation, including tunnel, canopy, and overhand method.
However, choosing the most appropriate depends on the application, net type, and area to be protected.
Canopy nets are intended to be installed permanently for protecting commercial fruit orchards.
Tunnel netting is easy to use and move. It mostly comes in smaller dimensions.
Tunnel netting is best to protect strawberries and other crops cultivated on a small scale, allowing proper ventilation for their growth.
Using the mounts, nets can be lifted easily. They create clearance between the net and the plants.
Access zips are fixed in the net as they offer an easy gateway to enter the protected area, once it is installed. In the absence of the zips, one has to cut the net, which is not desirable.
Wire rope and tensioning products:
They are used to form a tensioned wire framework to which netting is affixed.
Specialist netting tools:
Some netting tools required to set-up Fruit Tree nets include:
Ratchet crimp tool: Used to crimp ferrules.
Side cutters: Used to cut wires.
Professional sprung netting shears: For net trimming.
Hog ring pliers: Used to connect the wires together.
Birds and pests are a common problem for gardeners as they dig up seeds, steal ripe fruits and peck buds, completely devastating their gardens. Therefore, netting is essential to protect plants from predators. Bird nets come in many sizes, shapes, and colors;
however, the selection of the right one depends upon the orchard’s dimensions and the type of fruit being cultivated.