Wow – over a year has passed since posting so here’s a little catch-up.
The 17′ wide net barely covered the mature Borealis and Tundra that are now more than 5′ wide and 4-5′ tall, and Berry Smart Blue (Czech #17) that are even taller. The bushes pictured here are at the top of the incline and are smaller than those further down the row. They are planted 5′ in-row and 10′ between row spacing, in a 1 acre plot. The waxwings did sneak under but after several of them got tangled in the net the flock decided it wasn’t worth it and moved on. For smaller plantations, securing the net to the ground is essential.
Plantra’s netting installs very smoothly, compared to some of the wiry off-the-shelf netting. Well worth the investment.
At our satellite site, planted in 2013, we installed SmartNet over several sections of the orchard. A lot of work installing the posts, especially since we had to do it twice after a severe windstorm.
We changed from using h-frame support to a stake and wire support for the posts. Here the net covers a row of honeyberries in front and elderberries at back.
Which system is best? Each has pros and cons. The overhead netting has to be extended and rolled back each year, with c-clips to attach the net to the overhead wire. But once it’s up and secured, it’s pretty effective at keeping unwanted critters out. The on-row netting works for mature plants but needs to be suspended by a guide wire for younger plants to avoid bending the upper branches and to keep the birds from perching right on the net and pecking through the holes. On-row netting is nice as you roll back the net when you pick, easily identifying which plants have been picked.
Sorry I don’t have costs figured out but we can’t afford not to net.