View Full Version : Soft fruit orchard enclosure using polypipe
I've searched and searched the internet for a design for a small soft fruit orchard enclosure using polypipe and gal pipe for the framework. That is, galvanised iron pipes (we have 12) and/or star pickets set in the ground and polypipe (any suggestions for best size?)fed into or over these and arched across the orchard into other gal pipes. We would chain wire the first metre or two then drape netting over the rest. I've seen similar from time to time but now that I want to build one, I don't know where to look or who to ask. The orchard will be16 X 9 metres.
03-02-2007, 12:12 PM
I have used star pickets and 2'' blackpoly pipe to make structures. I have gone 4 metres [maybe about 5 at widest]. I know of 6m structures.
I would think you could do a 9m span if you put a support in the middle that the poly could rest on. I think its important to not attach it in the middle so that it can move and flex with wind and rain.
I made a 5m span type igloo out of the above with wire in it for a shade house and creeper support. My kids could climb on it and it had no centre support.
Beauty of this type of structure is that it is pretty cheap and not hard to modify.
Thanks Floot. Your reply has given me confidence. I've seen much smaller constructions but we'll do as you've suggested.
05-02-2007, 03:29 PM
My Zone II is on a slope, so it is terraced. Therefore I 've never tried any thing wider than the average garden ach wide (star pickets and polypipe). I'm going for chicken wire from now on, I have found bird netting degrades too fast and if pegged to the ground catches snakes, frogs and birds.
I'm okay at freeing the birds and frogs, but as for the snakes :shaking:fortunately I have a friend who is a herpetoligist.
If the net is not weighted down the birds have enough time on their hands (or wings) to work out how to get in anyway.
I'm all for managing the problem to an acceptible level but now I yearn to be a control freak.
I have been more than generous in what I considered sacrificial fruit, so that I have built up an even larger number of birds.
So good luck!
06-02-2007, 10:01 AM
Bird netting, I made an awful mistake using that to keep the deer off my trees. It caught birds and bats (my dear bug-eating friends of the night), and it took me an hour apiece to cut away about 15 sections of bird netting from two 5-foot gopher snakes, caught and starving in each one. I was down on my knees with cuticle scissors, holding the lid of a garbage can over his head so they'd stop hissing at me, trying to free them. How the heck do they get through those 1/4 inch holes???? But they do!! Green plastic shade cloth lasts for 20 years, and doesn't hurt anybody :)
Thankyou Susan and Sweetpea. I hadn't considered the possibility of snaring birds and bats. I was going to lace the netting to strained 1200mm above-ground bird cage wire with a further 300mm below ground to keep out wombats and rabbits. Maybe shade cloth is indeed a better option.
07-02-2007, 04:38 PM
Have you ever considered a drape-over type arrangement. The birds can still get the outside but it leaves plenty of fruit that is protected.
08-02-2007, 12:45 AM
Suze, a lot of the vineyards here in California use 1" wide red foil tape tied to the trees to simulate fire, if it's breezy enough they float and sparkle and freak out the birds. Cut a 24" length, fold it in half, tie a long piece of string to the foil and to a branch, so you have two 12-inch lengths, and they should flutter. Each mature tree should have 5-6 foil ribbons in it. It's called Bird Scare Flash Tape
http://www.horsecarolina.com/WindcrestG ... ement.html (http://www.horsecarolina.com/WindcrestGroup/WindcrestOrganics/Catalog/PestManagement.html)
And don't leave them up all year, only during the month or so that the fruit is ripening, so they don't get used to them. Snipping the string to release them is a fast way to take them down.
08-02-2007, 01:02 AM
This is from a study on bird scare techniques, talking about flags, rags and streamers (the bird scare tape)
FLAGS, RAGS AND STREAMERS
The placing of flags, usually made from old sacks, amongst a crop, is one of the simplest and cheapest forms of bird scaring. The movement of the flag or rag in the wind is perceived as a threat by birds, which then avoid the area. The effect of this perceived threat may be enhanced by partially hiding the flags. This technique was used to protect maize from red-winged blackbirds just before harvest. Rags tied between tall maize plants, so that the rags were partially concealed by the plants gave the illusion that someone, a possible predator, was hidden in the crop. This
effectively protected the crop for up to 30 days after which there were signs of habituation (Cardinell and Hayne 1944).
On shorter or newly planted crops, it is not possible to hide flags within the
vegetation. Transport Canada (1994) recommend the use of black flags made from 60x90 cm sheets of 3mm black plastic attached to 1.2 m posts to deter waterfowl. Black seems to be the most effective colour and flags of this size can easily be seen and may move well in the wind. It is recommended that one flag per hectare is enough to deter waterfowl from sites they have not actively been using, but where they are accustomed to feeding, four flags per hectare placed in an offset grid pattern work well.
Mason and Clark (1994) demonstrated that both black and white flags placed at a density of 2.47 flags/hectare reduced snow goose use of fields, based on counts of goose faeces, but did not deter geese completely. White flags placed at the same density in crop fields reduced goose numbers and even deterred geese from fields where they had been grazing for the previous few weeks (Mason et al. 1993).
However, McKay and Parrott (2002) found that white flags placed at 25 m intervals in a regular grid were ineffective in reducing mute swan grazing on oil-seed rape. Silver and red Mylar streamers can be used as an alternative to flags and were tested by Mason and Clark (1994). They were found to delay the onset of grazing by snow geese, compared to fields with no streamers or flags, but proved less effective in reducing goose use than either black or white flags. A number of scaring materials
and methods for deterring roosting crows from trees were tested in California in 1991 and 1992. Mylar tape stripes of 0.6-0.9 m tied to branches were judged to be the most effective, scoring a control rating of 9.7 on a scale of 1 to 10 (best). However, it was time-consuming to apply, needed specialist equipment for tall trees and there was no overall area effect as the birds moved to adjacent untaped trees to roost (Gorenzel and
Mylar flags placed at a density of 300 flags/hectare did not deter herring gulls from a nesting colony but were more successful at a loafing area (Belant and Ickes 1997). The variation of this response was probably due to the availability of other loafing areas but not of suitable nesting colony areas.
In summary, flags, rags and streamers are a useful bird scaring technique, being cheap (Mylar streamers are more expensive), and easy to deploy. However, their success depends on alternative feeding, roosting or loafing sites being available nearby. Although not totally effective in completely eliminating bird pests, reducing numbers
by dispersing birds over an area can reduce localised crop damage.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/noi ... caring.pdf (http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/noise/research/birdscaring/birdscaring.pdf)
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