covering fruit bushes

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chickpeacurry

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covering fruit bushes
« on: February 11, 2015, 15:35 »
There is a terrible problem with pigeon s eating the fruit.  We try to cover with netting but this is time consuming at a time when there is so much to do.  This year we are looking at buying some chicken wire and making cages to cover the bushes.  Any ideas I have been looking at chicken wire on the internet and Amazon seems to be the cheapest. 164feet for 27pounds.  I noticed comments that it can rust.  Any Advice whether chicken wire is the best option. Thanks

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sunshineband

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2015, 15:50 »
I think plastic covered wire is not that much dearer if you are worrying about rust, but....

.... whereas a permanent style construction has advantages, you need access for picking, pruning, weeding, feeding etc and it is good to let birds have access at the end of the season to clear away remaining bugs and odds and ends of fruit.

How about a removavebale soft net front?
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Kristen

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 10:16 »
Netting over the top has to bear the full weight of snow in the winter - unless the mesh is very open - min 2" I would guess? Maybe that is "small" enough to keep all the critters out, but best not to go for a small mesh.

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Headgardener22

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 16:36 »
I assume you're going to have to make some form of frame to support the chicken wire.and as Kristen said its going to have to bear the full weight of any snow and be strong enough to stand the wind as well.

If you've built a frame, why not just cover it with ordinary netting? You can put it up early in the spring (say now) and take it away once all the fruit has been picked. That's what I did last year and it seemed to be fine.

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Kleftiwallah

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 16:47 »

I use the plastic mesh that they sell for covering ponds.

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Ivor Backache

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 16:58 »
Ideally you are going to need a frame. Wood is not cheap and it needs maintenance.  I have a similar problem and I am considering plastic waste pipe. Two sizes for wash basin and bath. There are elbows T joins etc , and it will be light and maintenance free. Some connections are push fit so it can be dismantles. Others are meant to be glued but you can use tape instead.  Ordinary plastic nets can be used with it.

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LotuSeed

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 01:42 »
I made a wooden frame to protect my strawberry beds from deer. There are hinges in the top to allow easy access for picking and weeding. I constructed it in the Fall and, as I didn't get around to installing the chicken wire before the weather turned, I draped plastic netting over the frame. If you're going for chicken wire, you are going to need a frame for it, that means wood, screws, staples and possibly hinges, that all adds up quickly and can be pretty time consuming to set up. Also if you're on an allotment and don't have access to a power supply, building with power tools may pose a challenge. The plastic netting can be a pain to handle but I've found that rolling it up onto a bamboo stake before picking or weeding can minimize the frustration.
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grinling

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 17:58 »
Make panels and put together when needed and dismantle for easy winter storage afterwards.

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mikky

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2015, 19:59 »
I've a gooseberry bush left from previous owners, I cut it hard during the winter--they like that apparently..... and now I have lush leaves.....which the caterpillars from the tree above absolutely adored last year, decimated it they did :mad:
So all I'm going to do this year is to drape some net curtains over the bush and stake all around and observe the outcome!
Not a very original idea I grant you, but I'm only learning yet ;)

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Headgardener22

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 20:05 »
Was it caterpillars from above or saw fly larvae which come up from the ground.

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mikky

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2015, 21:31 »
They were small green caterpillars coming down off the silver birch tree above the goosegog bush HeadGardener22.
We could quite plainly see them coming down on their fine threads.
Dreadful damage they did.
I've updated my original idea about draping the bush with just net curtains and staking though.
The bush is enclosed from the elements on three sides.
It is open to get maximum sun on just the one side, so ill now put three pallets on the enclosed sides, THEN drape the nets over them.
The budding of the tree is coming on apace now.....time to get a wriggle on with me pallets methinks!! 

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Beetroot Queen

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2015, 21:33 »
We have two huge over kill fruit cages made by hubby to be honest we have no issue with pigeons they dont touch ours so we have too massive cages which are in my way for nothing, will see if I can find a pic so you can have a laugh. I do put them over the corn till they reach the top to give them a headstart.

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JayG

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2015, 11:20 »
Chicken wire is galvanised, and should last for several years before it rusts, especially if it's not damaged by rough use or buried in the soil.

You don't say how many fruit bushes you have - I only have a couple of blueberry bushes to worry about, which need to be protected as the fruits ripen otherwise the blackbirds eat the lot.

I use a few canes of the appropriate height pushed into the soil round them, topped with small plastic bottles or aluminium cans, with plastic netting draped over them. The netting is pegged to the soil around the edges except where I want access for picking and weeding, where I use bricks. Any overlaps are secured with plastic clothes pegs for speed and simplicity, and with a little forethought can be positioned to produce a handy flap to make access easier.

It's never much fun wrestling with plastic netting IMHO, but it really doesn't take long to either put up or take down (it wouldn't stand up to snow in winter but it doesn't need to in this context.)
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LotuSeed

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2015, 20:09 »
Might be a good idea to tie brightly colored ribbon onto various parts of the netting. I covered my 5 blueberry bushes and surrounding strawberries with netting last night and I noticed right away how quickly it "disappeared". A few pieces of ribbon here and there could remind you it's there. I almost walked straight into mine right after putting it up ! Lol.

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madcat

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Re: covering fruit bushes
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2015, 10:59 »
We have a permanent wood structure, and scavenged scaffolding netting which is rolled back and tied to the side for the autumn/winter/spring to avoid the problem of snow and the worst of the wind, and pulled into place once the bushes start showing fruit (soon), and held in place with tie wraps (the ones for plastic bags, not the serious ones!) for the season.   

The frame for the brassica cage is an abandoned frame tent found by the exit skip at a festival .... also covered with scavenged scaffolding netting.

The bits of bright colour suggested  by Lotuseed are good bird scarers too! 
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