Bird netting recommendation

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dwhill40

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Hello,
I'm looking at replacing my bird netting. I have been using the "premium" green string style of netting and its beginning to have holes. Can anyone share their experience with the extruded polypropylene nets versus the string nets?

The birds eat through the 3/4 inch holes. I'm wondering if the 1/2 hole size might help keep the birds from pecking through the nets.

Mocking birds are aggressive little a-hole creatures.
 

jgmillr1

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I bought a few nets from spectrellising (http://www.spectrellising.com/) last year. They are 5/8 inch woven nets that have held up well going into the second season of use. We have starling issues and they do a good job preventing the birds from getting in. With the holes being 5/8" rather than 3/4" I find that the birds don't get their heads stuck and I don't have to remove bird bodies from the nets when I put them away.
 

dwhill40

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I am using the 17' avigard netting with a lyre trellis which is okay but it appears the birds somehow push the netting into the clusters and eat them clean. The mockingbirds will find a seam on the bottom, which I have tied and wiggle their way into the nets. I am in the deep south with ample sun so I was curious if there is a mesh solution. I have to spray fungicide so I need open access for that. One day an enormous redtail hawk was circling and screeching. It was so quiet you wouldn't have though a bird existed in the area. I have to come up with something better than the 3/4 inch netting. A pet hawk would be sweet but I have enough hobbies :).
 

jgmillr1

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The last couple seasons I've draped 50ft wide nets over the vines. The nets sit about 9ft up, supported by a wire running through simple PVC posts that attached to the vineyard posts. It is tall enough that I can run the tractor under the netting as required. I'm still working out the bugs with this configuration but it has the advantages of (1) keeping the net off the vines which tend to grow through the net and cause problems during removal, (2) reducing the netting purchases by half since you only have to span over the vine row rather than up/down each vine row, (3) having continuous netting which reduces opportunities for birds to get in, and (4) making it faster to throw the nets up and take down.

The issues I'm still addressing with this method are that the net needs to be periodically attached to the support wire or it tends to drift due to the wind and you need to sew the adjoining nets temporarily together to prevent birds from getting in from the top.

This clearly won't work if you rely on mechanical harvesting but may work depending on your circumstance.NetsOverVines.jpg
 

jgmillr1

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Yep. This year they ate all of my seyval (about 1.5 tons) before they even began to ripen. I'll be netting that next year too.

I either have to extensively net or give up growing grapes.
 

jgmillr1

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Starlings are my big pest. They come in swarms of hundreds and can strip an acre in a day
 

Dennis Griffith

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I use a 2 pronged scenario to keep the birds off. I buy 7 foot wide netting and cut it in half (3.5 feet on each side). Then I have a couple of owls that I move around the vineyard. I use the bobbing head owls and the birds seem to be scared of them. As a side note, crows REALLY don't like the owls. It works for me and I have a lot of different birds that like the berries. Here's a pic.

DSCN3804.JPG
 

Dennis Griffith

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I mounted mine to a base that is held by a single screw to a post. I just take my cordless drill out when I move them. It only takes a couple of minutes to move from one spot to another. I can take a pic, if you're interested.
 

ibglowin

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I used 2x2 redwood post in the ground for my vines until they reached the TW when I planted them. The hole in the base of the owl is perfect to just slide the bird onto and into place. Literally about one minute to move them into a new configuration. Looking forward to the bobbing head to help bring some added realism to the flock!
 

mainshipfred

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I think I'll keep buying my grapes from someone else. This growing yourself thing seems like way too much trouble.
 

ibglowin

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Everyone should at least pick your own grapes at least once if you have the opportunity. I guarantee you will gain a new respect not only for the farmer who has to deal with everything from late frost to hail to critters of every possible type as well as the migrant worker who is out in the field day after day (usually in the daylight hours) hustling like crazy as you get paid by the bucket.
 

mainshipfred

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I'm actually going to help @berrycrush pick and crush grapes on Sunday. I don't think it's a lot but something I've never done before.
 

Johnd

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I’d grow my own in a heartbeat if I could grow vinifera here.
 

hitchiker

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down here in south Ga. we use bird cannons to keep the starlings out of our blueberries
 

dwhill40

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I'm dealing with around 1/2 acre so the enclosure idea is growing on me. I harvested this weekend and ended up with 10% of the crop. Rough year.

The last couple seasons I've draped 50ft wide nets over the vines. The nets sit about 9ft up, supported by a wire running through simple PVC posts that attached to the vineyard posts. It is tall enough that I can run the tractor under the netting as required. I'm still working out the bugs with this configuration but it has the advantages of (1) keeping the net off the vines which tend to grow through the net and cause problems during removal, (2) reducing the netting purchases by half since you only have to span over the vine row rather than up/down each vine row, (3) having continuous netting which reduces opportunities for birds to get in, and (4) making it faster to throw the nets up and take down.

The issues I'm still addressing with this method are that the net needs to be periodically attached to the support wire or it tends to drift due to the wind and you need to sew the adjoining nets temporarily together to prevent birds from getting in from the top.

This clearly won't work if you rely on mechanical harvesting but may work depending on your circumstance.View attachment 56046
 
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