Humans aren’t the only ones who love grapes. Birds, raccoons and other wild animals are also attracted to grape plants. And while many wild animals can be kept out of a vineyard with scarecrows, noisemakers or flashing lights, such as the reflectors made from CDs tied to string and hung from a trellis or Mylar tape, these methods won’t scare away the most persistent grape hunters. That’s why many vineyard owners rely on grape netting to protect their crops.
Select netting that is specially designed to protect grape crops. Grape netting is available commercially for purchase directly from companies such as Smart Net Systems or Industrial Net. Grape netting is woven thick enough to keep birds away from grape clusters, yet still provides air circulation to the vines.
Time your application of netting for when the grapes ripen, a point that wine growers call veraison.
Unroll the netting so that it lies flat next to your grape trellis.
Pull the netting over the top of the trells and center it so that it drapes evenly over the trellis. Be careful at this stage not to damage the grape vines. You may wish to use ladders and grasping implements such as tongs on a pole.
Pull the sides of the netting together on the underside of the trellis so that the grapes are wrapped in a net tunnel.
Staple the bottoms of the grape netting together every three feet, using light staples.