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Netting for raised bed

Hi all,

After being on an allotment waiting list for 5+ years and barely moving up it, my mum has kindly offered a chunk of her garden that was previously unused. 

I've built some raised beds and, as a novice, intend to follow the guidance in the "Veg in One Bed" book by Huw Richards.  Other areas of the garden get a lot of birds. 

I'm considering covering the beds with netting as I start to use them. I've got quite a bit of spare 10mm plastic pipe left over from some central heating modifications I made. This would be ideal to create a bit of framework. My question... Is there any benefit to using bird netting rather than insect netting? Insect netting would clearly do both jobs.

Also, first planting in the beds should be during March. In the event of any expected frosts, coud I lay fleece over the netting or will it need to be closer to the bed?


  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,301 Forumite
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    I would want the finest netting possible - least likelihood of birds or other wildlife getting tangles and trapped, which is not nice to deal with.
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  • Ian1961
    Ian1961 Posts: 93 Forumite
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    It depends on what exactly you're looking at growing and in which beds. For example growing carrots, you would be looking at a very fine mesh upto 12inch high (carrot fly tend to fly low), whereas peas, cauliflower you would need something to cover the whole bed to stop the pigeons geting to them.
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,541 Forumite
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    Not sure if this applies, and if you're happy to cover the whole with the tools to do it go for it.
    In desperation at the size of Kale and Broccoli and trying to cover them I put canes around and attached netting to that like a fence about 18" high.
    Seems the pigeons didn't want to go inside and couldn't work out the weak spots so result. Works for carrot fly too.
    But all over & fine if it's convenient to use and harvest could prevent butterflies, white fly etc.Butterflies are canier than pigeons I've found and will find gaps, get underneath and even manage to squeeze through the larger netting. Could hardly believe my eyes last year.

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  • Thanks for the advice all.
    Instead of one large bed, I've made 5 smaller beds. Each with two distinct areas. So they shoudl be small enough to cover relatively easily. Plenty of flexible pipe which I can bend into arches to span the bed. So I'll buy a decent amount of netting and then covering as the beds come into use. 

    Fine mesh looks like the way forward. 
    Not expecting miracles this first year anyway so I can always reassess.
  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741 Forumite
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    edited 16 February 2021 at 12:00PM
    Will the 10mm pipe be strong enough? I know 20mm is because that's what I used with roofing battens and galvanised angle brackets to make mine: I can only find a picture of a basic frame at present....and that's wonky because I hadn't trimmed all the pipes to size at the point when the picture was taken. Mine fit over the deep beds in the polytunnel.
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