Winegrowers Supplies  -  Protecting vines against rabbits

I recommend fine diamond mesh, 600 mm tall, plastic cylindrical nets; these last about 4 years until the stock should be thick enough that a rabbit 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've seen vines in solid tubes where 25 mm long buds inside a tube have been killed by frost (this happens at below - 2 C) while the buds above the tube are growing strongly.

The 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 30 mm, 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.

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