Protect Blueberries from Hungry Birds with Garden Netting

Birds love berries, so protecting your blueberry bushes with netting is important. Some gardeners try other methods for protecting their blueberries, such as fake predators, noisemakers or hanging fabric strips, but placing netting over the bushes has the best results.


Benefits of Mesh Netting on Blueberry Bushes

If you’d rather enjoy the plump, juicy blueberries you’ve grown, rather than letting the birds have them, then mesh netting is the most effective way to protect your crop. The amount of netting needed depends on the size of your blueberry bushes. Covering your blueberries with netting has the following benefits:

  • Reusable protection for your berries
  • Pesticide free and safe for organic gardens
  • Safe for birds and other wildlife
  • Most netting is under warranty

How to Place Netting over Blueberry Bushes

Rather than placing the netting directly on your blueberry bushes, it works out better if you build a structure to hold the netting over the bushes. If you place the netting on the blueberries, the net snags on the branches and leaves. This makes it difficult to remove when your berries are ready to harvest.

You can build a simple structure using PVC pipe or bamboo poles, making a section moveable, so you can fold it back and go inside. If you have long rows of blueberry bushes, brace your end poles with anchors and canopy wires to keep the netting tight, especially if it’s windy.

When using more than one section of netting, make sure you use wire or string to interweave the edges together. The birds will find a way in, if you leave any gaps in the netting.

When to Apply Netting around Blueberry Bushes

Birds don’t wait for your blueberries to get ripe before eating them. It’s important to cover your berries weeks before they start to turn blue. After you set up your netting, check it daily for any small animals, snakes or birds that might get themselves tangled in it. Even when the netting covers the berries, it won’t stop birds from trying to get at them.

Store the Netting during the Winter

Once blueberry season is over, take down the netting, roll it up and store it for the winter. You can leave the frame up to make it easier to put up the netting for next season. Removing the netting prevents damage from snow, falling branches and wind that could rip the netting during stormy weather. Storing it inside also prevents deterioration of the netting from severe weather conditions.