Use a net to keep leaves from falling into pond water. A net stretched across the pond surface requires daily emptying when leaves are falling thickest. A pond shelter type kit supports netting on a frame that prevents leaves from ever touching the water. An elevated net is also easier to keep free of leaves. If leaves do land in water, scoop them out. Also keep the skimmer basket emptied of leaves. Decomposing leaves in a pond release materials that can harm fish and muddy the water.
Birds, squirrels, chipmunks and even wild turtles will take bites out of ripe tomatoes. These critters are usually after the moisture a tomato offers more than its delicious taste.
Easy Solution: Protect fruit by swaddling it in a small piece of bird netting. As fruit ripens, remove the netting and use it to protect the next set of ripening tomatoes.
Take action to protect prized shrubs from deer browsing. If you spot hoof prints in the snow, you need to act fast to prevent plant damage. Netting tossed over shrubs can prevent feeding. Use clothespins to hold the netting in place, attaching it to a few branches. Spray plants with a deer repellant to make twigs less tasty.
Arched French windows allow refreshing sea breezes to flood this St. Thomas bedroom. Nautical-print pillows, mosquito netting and tropical plants add to the beachy vibe, helping to seamlessly blend the indoors and outdoor spaces.
This heavily carved four poster bed with mosquito netting drapes takes you to the tropics. The bed and nightstands are mahogany and ornately carved to reflect the colonial influences in Caribbean decor. Soft gray walls lighten the heavy furniture.
Whether your home is a beachside getaway or you just love the water, decorating with nautical-inspired décor is timeless, especially when done in small doses. Worn woods, twine netting and touches of coral are classics and blend well with a variety of other décor.
Protect plants and young seedlings from hungry rabbits by covering them with a barrier. This strawberry patch outsmarts rabbits with a pvc-and-hardware-cloth cage that’s lightweight and easy to remove for berry picking. The top of the cage is bird netting, which rabbits can bite through—a feat they can’t achieve with the hardware cloth sides.
Critters, including rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and even birds, can destroy young seedlings, making you have to plant seeds multiple times.
Easy Solution: Outsmart critters by covering seedlings with chicken wire anchored to soil using landscape staples. Bird netting may help, but greedy rabbits will hop onto it if they crave the seedling badly enough.
As fresh foliage disappears from the winter landscape, rabbits and other creatures start feasting on plants they don’t normally touch. Protect the crowns of plants that fit this category, like coral bells, with chicken wire or hardware cloth. Netting won’t outsmart creatures at this point in the season. Deer will paw it off; rabbits will sit on it and reach through to leaves.
Also known as silver Siberian bugloss, ‘Jack Frost’ brunnera (B. macrophylla) steals the show in any shade garden. Green leaves boast a beautiful silver netting that looks good from early spring to last fall frost. Dainty blue flowers appear in spring, dancing on stems that stand 5 inches above leaves. Deer-, rabbit- and slug-resistant plants grow 12 inches tall and up to 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
Rabbits make quick work of plants—and they’re not picky. They’ll chow down on your peas, beans, lettuce, petunias and even potted plants. When they’re the culprits behind vanishing plants, you’ll often find leaves missing with stems intact or stubs where an entire plant used to stand. To keep rabbits at bay, try repellents, chicken wire, netting or a free-running dog (with an underground fence). Clean up yard debris that could give rabbits hiding places, and plugs any holes that lead under sheds, decks or porches.
Deer can wipe out a garden overnight, nibbling prize flowers, vegetables and plants. Telltale signs of deer feeding are torn or ragged leaf edges. Deer lack upper incisor teeth, so when they grab a plant, they jerk their heads up to pull a leaf free. This creates torn stems and leaves. Keep deer away from your yard with repellents (Plantskydd works well), an extra-tall fence (8 to 10 feet tall) or a double fence (3 to 5 feet tall, 3 to 4 feet apart). Toss plastic netting over individual plants or flowers you want to protect from browsing.
Many critters have a taste for tomatoes, including squirrels and chipmunks. When these animals are the culprits behind tomato damage, you see something like this: a bite (or three) missing from a ripe tomato. Occasionally they nibble green tomatoes, but most often it’s the ripe ones they choose. If birds are eating your tomatoes, you’ll see more of a piercing, pecking-type wound that’s often triangular in shape. The best way to outsmart varmints is to protect ripening ‘maters. Either pick them slightly under-ripe and let them continue to ripen indoors, or cover plants or individual fruits with bird netting.