PDA

View Full Version : Does Garden Netting Really Work?



joyce
05-14-2009, 06:53 AM
I have a nectarine tree that I bought about five years ago and it's growing really good. I live in Florida and these trees are not natural to our environment. This species was developed by the University of Florida to live in our harsh conditions, so the darn tree is pretty special to me. Also, I love nectarines.

I went outside today and saw that the darn squirrels had taken the last five unripened fruits from the tree. They take a bite and leave it on the ground for me to morn. In five years I've never eaten one of my nectarines because of the squirrels or raccoons. I really like the squirrels and coons and I don't mind sharing some of my fruits, but not all of it. It's frustrating because they don't eat it but just pull it off with a bite.

Does that garden netting really work in keeping pests like them off your trees? I'm at a loss of what to do to keep them off the tree. I'm crazy and have hung wind chimes off the limbs to try and scare them away. I think they just think I'm adding music to their eating adventure. I now have to wait until next year but I want to be prepared. Any suggestions of what I can do besides killing the critters? :Shrug:

JoNightshade
05-14-2009, 06:56 AM
My dad uses netting to keep rabbits out of his tomatoes... dunno about netting a tree!

What about offering something squirrels like better? I know they really like cobs of dried corn... but of course if you put out something raccoons like you'd probably have 500 show up the next night.

Hmmm. Actually I am quite surprised they like nectarines at all!

Captain Scarf
05-14-2009, 06:58 AM
My parents used to put netting over a vine we had in our garden. My mother is one of those people who know about gardening so I expect it worked. I don't really remember because it was some years back. I know we never really had any decent grape yields but that was because they live in the middle of England.

I'll try and find out for you. Right now it's 4 am over here so I'll have to wait until a more reasonable hour to phone my mother.

joyce
05-14-2009, 07:00 AM
My dad uses netting to keep rabbits out of his tomatoes... dunno about netting a tree!

What about offering something squirrels like better? I know they really like cobs of dried corn... but of course if you put out something raccoons like you'd probably have 500 show up the next night.

Hmmm. Actually I am quite surprised they like nectarines at all!

I think I might be causing more of a problem by feeding them as good as I do. My husband swears if something happens to me the squirrels will be breaking into the house for food. I feed them peanuts, corn and sunflower seeds daily. I'm so insane I collected pignut hickory nuts when I went camping a couple of weeks ago and brought some home for the nutty squirrels.

joyce
05-14-2009, 07:02 AM
I'll try and find out for you. Right now it's 4 am over here so I'll have to wait until a more reasonable hour to phone my mother.


Thanks and I agree with the waiting part. She'd probably throw a net over you, thinking you'd gone insane calling about garden netting at such an hour. :D

SPMiller
05-14-2009, 10:35 AM
If the tree has a single trunk and if its branches do not hang low to the ground and if a squirrel could not jump into the tree from somewhere else ...

... then you might try a squirrel guard.

NeuroFizz
05-14-2009, 04:27 PM
Netting has worked on my peach tree for the last three years. The tree (as with most of my fruit trees) is grafted on dwarfing rootstock, which means the tree is only going to grow about 10-12 feet high and about as wide. With a full-sized fruit tree, netting would be difficult (I pre-planned to use the dwarf/semi-dwarf strategy to defeat the tree-rats). These trees can produce almost as much fruit as normal sized trees and they save a little space as well.

Rule number one, though, is to discourage the beasts from coming around in the first place. It doesn't have to be an active repulsion, just make sure there is nothing around to attract them. Feeding them is just doing the opposite. That's telling them to come around for all of the backyard goodies. One can't expect them to leave some of the food items alone in that case. A determined squirrel can defeat netting, by the way, so even that protection may not work if the squirrel feels comfortable and food-welcomed in your yard.

cray
05-14-2009, 04:35 PM
get a bag of nectarines from the market and sprinkle them around on the ground in your yard.

joyce
05-14-2009, 04:52 PM
get a bag of nectarines from the market and sprinkle them around on the ground in your yard.


:roll:Most of the nectarines I get at the store have been picked so early they're horrible. Nothing like really fresh ones.

Cray, my tree is a dwarf variety and has reached it's peak size. It's only about 12 ft. high. I figured I was causing a worse problem because those little buggers know they are welcome in my yard. I guess I could try electricity......:)

Pagey's_Girl
05-14-2009, 05:35 PM
I'd say no. The squirrels would chew right through it - they not only chewed through the plastic tie holding up one of my birdfeeders, they chewed the hard plastic shell to bits to get to the food inside - and you'd likely fatally entangle birds.

(I caught the little (expletive deleteds) in the act of destroying the feeder; that's how I know they did it.

NeuroFizz
05-14-2009, 06:02 PM
So far (three years), no chew-throughs for me, and no entangled birds. I've enjoyed most of the peaches. But our yard is not "crawling" in squirrels. It probably helps that our dog (yellow lab) likes to chase the critters when she is outside. I haven't found a way to net in my grape arbor, though. It's large. Between the squirrels and birds, I've yet to have a grape bunch go totally ripe. Has anyone netted individual grape clusters with net bags? Any other suggestions?

Good thing nothing seems to go after the asparagus. We've been eating fresh-cut spears every second or third day for the last three weeks, and we have a few more weeks before we let the plants grow bushy and replentish the roots for next year. Even Little Fizzy likes the stuff now that I've been grilling it.

Wayne K
05-14-2009, 07:24 PM
I think some things are best addressed with a scatter gun. Little varmints!