Winegrowers Supplies  -  Rabbit Guard Nets

I recommend fine diamond mesh, 600mm tall, plastic cylindrical nets for protecting vines against rabbits; these last about 4 years until the stock should be thick enough that rabbits can't bite through it. The advantage is that they allow air flow. If you use solid plastic tubes then the temperature of the still air inside the tube can fall well below the ambient temperature; I have seen vines where 25mm long buds inside a tube have been killed by frost (which happens at below - 2 degrees C) while the buds above the tube are growing strongly.

The usual technique with these nets, which arrive 'flat packed', is to put one arm through the net and pull it inside out. This automatically leaves a turn-up of about 30mm, which helps to keep the net cylindrical.
After placing it over the vine and support pole, with the turn-up at the bottom, it is necessary to secure the bottom to stop it blowing around in the wind; perhaps with a couple of wire spikes if you are using plastic mulch, or with some stones or soil in the turn-up. I use 2 additional short bamboo canes inside - to support the net in a triangular shape (viewed from the top). After a couple of years when the vine-stock is established above the net, the short bamboos can be dispensed with.

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