Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shade and Bird Netting Structures

We have been working on our bird netting cages for a while - we were quite determined the birds were not going to get half the tomatoes this year, but we rather disagreed on how to do it. I am the quick, pop-up type - he is an engineer.

So I started off in bed one, which is the largest bed, and quickly put in some Bunings stakes, lashed together, that covered three-quarters of the bed.

These are the lashings - in a cotton string (ie no acrylic), using the "wrap, wrap, wrap frap, frap, frap mantra of Scouting). The frapping turns tighten the lashing. Want to know more - Wikipedia gives you a start, with links to a square lashing, which is what this is.

One slight problem with this is that, when it rained, the string expanded and lashings became looser, and moved a bit. I have re-tied some of them once, before the netting went on, and cannot do it again. Next time baling twine?

Then, I tried some black bird netting on my structure, which was difficult to work with as I had ends of stakes pointing out everywhere.

In the meantime, the Engineer had built this structure from aluminium on Bed 3. It is so tall as he is 5'10" in the old language, and he wanted to be able to stand up inside.

THEN, the Heat Wave struck.

We had a small piece of shade cloth that went over the tommie stakes in Bed 3, and saved them, and made a quick run to Bunings where we bought shade cloth and just threw it, double, across my structure in Bed 1. 

Tommies saved!

Below is my emergency shade on Bed 1 there is Sweet Corn on the western side, where the cobs have been picked, but we left the plants in the help shade. That also helped.

Finally, we went back to Bunings and bought 10 metres of white 5mm aperture bird netting. This is it, below, just thrown over the structures before it was anchored down.

The Engineer has cut the ends off the stakes, which made life much easier. These stakes are like metal, white-coated curtain rods, so an angle-grinder was needed.

Anchoring (temporarily) is by wrapping the ends around stakes and holding them down with bricks.

Only one bird has got through so far.

There is another heat wave due next Tuesday. The shade cloth has now been split lengthwise, and we should be able to just temporarily throw it over both structures.


Blogger Unknown said...

Interesting how shade and protection is required. I'm bout to set up hydroponics garden and i'll need also keep out cats. I expect I will have to frame it in chicken wire.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Another Idea is using PVC connectors and pipe , that way you can put on a door and keep the netting tight we also have netting with stainless steel thread in it. Make it any size you want - Rob Klever Cages

5:22 PM  

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