Bird netting: anyone who’s used it can attest to what a tangled mess it can become in the garden. In the Sunset Test Garden, we use a simple system of bird netting that includes a $3 hack from the hardware store that makes all the difference in keeping the netting neat and tidy.
Why bother with this stuff at all? This time of year, migrant birds are returning for the winter and if you don’t do something to protect tender crops, you may find leaves covered with bite marks and new shoots eaten to the ground.
Bend the masonry ladder into a semi-circle to fit the size of your bed and push it about four- to six- inches into the ground. If you have a raised bed, put the ends of the masonry ladder in the inside of the bed to help keep the hoop steady. Next, cut the bird netting to fit the bed, secure one edge with landscape staples and stretch the netting taut over the masonry ladder hoops.
Finally, tack down all remaining edges of the bird netting with landscape staples to keep the netting tight and prevent birds and squirrels from sneaking under the corners. Keeping the netting taut both looks better and is safer for animals. Loose netting increases the chance that a bird will get caught rather than just deterred by the netting. To harvest crops, take out the landscape staples from one side and fold the netting over the top of the hoop.