Bird netting is a very useful tool for keeping birds out of a garden and can simply be draped over strong plants or trees, making sure to cover the entire plant down to the ground to keep the birds from climbing underneath. The netting is lightweight and usually made of plastic with small 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch holes, which allow air to flow through while keeping many pests out. For smaller or more delicate plants, a bird netting structure should be made to support the netting and keep it off the plants while securing the netting tightly around it. With a few inexpensive supplies, this project can be completed in less than an hour.
Drive long pieces of the 1-inch PVC pipe into the ground about 2 to 3 feet deep to secure them in place. The length of the pipes is determined by the height the plants will reach and how large the structure needs to be. For an average vegetable garden, there should be about 3 feet of pipe standing out of the ground. Each piece should be positioned at the outside corners of the rows that you want to protect. For ease of handling, do not make the row covering any wider than 6 feet. Break the bird net framing up into sections if needed, with one submerged 1-inch pipe at each corner of each section.
Feed one end of a 1/2-inch PVC pipe into one of the 1-inch pipes that are anchored in the ground and stand the pipe upright inside of the larger pipe. Feed one of the other 1/2-inch PVC pipes into another 1-inch pipe at the end of the garden row and stand that pipe up inside of that larger pipe.
Bend one of the 1/2-inch pipes across the width of the garden and put the other end into the 1-inch pipe at the other side to form an arch. Adjust the length of the 1/2-inch pipe as needed to have the pipe secured at both ends with at least one foot of pipe inserted into the 1-inch pipe and having the top of the arch at the correct height to cover the plants that will need to be covered. Cut the pipe with a hacksaw to shorten it if necessary. Bend the remaining pipe to form the arch at the other end of the garden row.
Secure one end of the bird netting to one of the arches with wire ties or string wrapped around the pipe and through the end of the netting. Secure the netting in several places to ensure a tight fit.
Stretch the netting across the garden and attach it to the other arch with wire ties or string in several places. The netting should cover the length of the garden from arch to arch and from the ground on one side of the garden row to the ground on the other side of the garden row.
Attach netting on the ends of the arches and stretch it to the ground, securing it with spikes or stakes. Be sure to cover any open areas with netting to prevent birds getting into the garden through small openings.
Things You Will Need
- 1/2-inch PVC pipe
- 1-inch PVC pipe
- Wire ties or string