Protecting Your Vineyards: How Different Types Of Vineyard Nets Maximize Your Grape Harvest
The grapes you grow to produce your Canadian wine are precious. Each grape represents a few drops of juice that turns into a few cents' worth of fine wine. When birds and other animals start plucking and consuming your fruit, that is money lost. If you use vineyard nets, you can maximize your harvest in the following ways.
High Density Polyethylene Yarns
The word "yarns" here is a bit of a misnomer. Vineyard nets made of high density polyethylene are actually plastic, not natural or man-made fibers like knitting yarn. The HDP material makes your nets flexible enough to cover your vines, grapes and trellises, but the strength of the diamond mesh makes it impossible for birds to land or get a hold of the fruit without getting caught in the nets. Because of the 3/4" openings, most birds that would go after your grapes cannot fit their heads through, and that leaves more grapes for you to profit from and fewer birds who would die from strangulation.
Heavy Industrial Rope Nets
These are often installed over the grapes but under the greenery of your vines. You may also find heavy industrial rope nets in the form of overhead coverage, which completely enclose your entire vineyard or section off some harder to grow grapes for a special vintage. Most of these nets are made from Dacron rope, or poly-Dacron fibers. They are best suited for keeping raccoons, deer, bears, rabbits and squirrels from consuming your cash crops, but they will deter birds as well.
Extruded Plastic Nets
Unlike the HDP nets, these are thicker and heavier. They are less flexible and harder to install over your grapes, but their lack of flexibility just means that birds and other animals will not be able to push or pull their way through. They are the cheapest option, but they are also the least favored because you will have to remove them in order to care for your vines and grapes and then reinstall them afterwards. It can get very tedious and inconvenient, but your grapes and vines are protected just as much as if you chose the HDP nets or the heavy industrial rope nets.
Where to Buy Your Vineyard Nets in Canada
Several industrial equipment and supply manufacturers (such as Redden Net & Rope marine rope) make and sell vineyard nets or netting that could be used for covering grape vines and berry bushes. You may try agricultural supply catalogs and stores as well. You can get price quotes for each type of netting based on the total acreage you want to cover. It will help you decide how much you want to spend, how much time you want to invest saving your crop, and the total value of your saved grapes versus the cost of protection.