How to use espalier netting effectively to act as a bird barrier and how it can protect against predators.
An espalier is a fruit plant or ornamental shrub, the branches of which grow flat against a wall, supported on a lattice through training on the part of their owners. As all gardeners would know, the threat of attacks from birds is ever present, and can quickly bring about the demise of many years of hard work put into training espaliers. Henceforth, the use of espalier netting such as hemp netting to act as a bird barrier, when used effectively, is highly recommended. Moreover, as you will see, espalier netting has a broad range of other advantages. Furthermore, the effective use of espalier netting in conjunction with the creativity of your mind can allow espalier netting to not only be an effective bird barrier, but also a stylish and exciting addition to your garden.
Protecting Against Predators
The best way to protect against birds is of course to use espalier netting. Espalier netting can be of any kind; however a great suggestion is hemp netting, which is far more durable and hardy than other materials, such as nylon, which is liable to breaking. Hemp is a thicker material, and a good piece will serve you very well for a very long time, easily outlasting some alternatives that you may find on the market at a lower price.
How to Correctly Source Netting for Espalier Plants
Hemp netting and other bird barrier materials are usually available at most good gardening and hardware stores. Whilst there are usually special packaged netting kits of particular size available in most good gardening and hardware shops, the real savings can be found by purchasing netting as a raw material. Your local hardware store should sell pieces of netting material cut to size, and very often this will be far cheaper than specialized bird netting kits, despite there being very little discrepancy in quality of effectiveness.
If price is of particular concern to you, shopping around and comparing prices may help you save some dollars, particularly if you are purchasing large quantities.
How to Correctly Apply Netting on Espalier Plants
As obvious as it sounds, it is absolutely vital that the whole plant is covered. Often your plants will be bigger at home than they seem when you are buying the netting, so one should always buy extra. After all, the worst thing is to buy a piece that is too small as it then becomes a complete waste. If price is once more of particular concern, there is always the option of measuring your plants to ensure that you buy only the right amount, but you should always be careful not to discount the possibility of plants spreading and growing.
The final decision that you will need to make when considering using espalier netting is the size of holes. Birds are intelligent creatures, particularly when there are fruits to tempt them, so using espalier netting with holes that are smaller than square inches is ideal. Netting will either work or it won’t, and if the latter is true it is a complete waste of money, so make sure you wait to find espalier netting that fits your needs.
Making the Job of Applying Espalier Netting Easier
The only downside to the use of hemp as espalier netting to act as a bird barrier is that the material can be quite heavy. Even when using light material, it can be a real pain to put the netting up, and tearing it will render it useless when crafty birds are about. Hence, using two people to put up the espalier plants is always recommended, and in the case of any plant that is above shoulder height or more than two to three yards wide, even more people should be used – the more the better!
How Will Espalier Netting Protect My Plants
So how will this netting help your espaliers? Although most gardeners who have the talent to correctly train espaliers would notice any predators that are impacting them, there is the chance that the visible impacts are limited. Alternatively, if you use a gardener and are not intimately familiar with your espaliers, you may be unaware or any damage, so netting can always be a good idea. The final possibility is of course that your espalier plants are not currently under threat. However, even in this case, espalier netting will at least protect against any future attacks, and will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your beautiful plants are protected whilst you are not watching them.
Other Advantages of Espalier Netting
Using espalier netting has a range of other benefits that you may not have considered. Aside from protecting your plants and fruits against birds, espalier netting, especially in the form of a rustic material such as hemp, can be quite aesthetically pleasing. Its color lends itself to blending in well with other earthy tones in the garden, and there is nothing stopping you from decorating your netting so that it really stands out.
If you are really creative, adding festive decorations, such as lights, around certain times of the year may be an idea. Moreover, if you have young children, decorating netting could easily fill in a rainy day, and placing it around the garden would be an exciting activity.
So, What are You Waiting For?
Returning to the main points, espalier netting, ideally in the form of hemp, will serve as an ideal bird barrier, and whether you have a noticeable problem or not, espalier netting is a no-brainer to protect against pests that will try to ruin your hard work. Whether you are a gardening novice and hobbyist, an experience expert or even commercial producer, there is no excuse not to take advantage of this wonderful product.