Stone fruit security...

11 November, 2012

Today I spent some delightful time in the sun protecting my stone fruit crop.

I have had my nectarine (Ziablagrow Queen Giant), one cherry (Stella) and one peach (Anzac) set fruit. As they are all quite young (only in the ground for 1-2 years each of them) none of them have set a lot of fruit, but it is worth protecting. And as netting my raspberries has used up all of my fruit tree nets, I have resorted to individual fruit bags.

Firstly you need to find a baby fruit-let (in this case a nectarine).

Now I know you can purchase individual fruit bags, and one day I may even give these a go myself, but I use a home-made fruit protection bag. I keep all the net bags from bags of oranges and onions etc (I blame the hoarding instinct on my mother - it must be genetic) and cover the fruit with these and tie them onto the above branch.

I reinforce these with cut segments of plastic bottles to ensure no enterprising bird or possum can nibble at the fruit through the net.

This system works well for clusters of cherries, as many cherries can be fit into one net bag.

 Alas, I ran out of plastic bottle bits when I got to the peach, so those bags alone will have to do.

I'm very excited about the peach, as this is only its second year and it has 11 fruit-lets on it. Joy! Hopefully they will all come to fruition (geddit?) unharmed.

Do you bother to protect your crops, and if so, how?


  1. I have to admit to being lazy and netting nothing although everytime I pass the blueberries I think I really should protect them somehow.

    1. I would do it ASAP. There's nothing worse than seeing something ripening and then going out to check if its ready to find it gone!!! I speak from (bitter) experience.

  2. Our Nectarine lost the whole load due to Possums. I couldn't believe how early they got to them also. Next year I will be prepared. Will have to start saving those nets!

  3. Bek, I am seriously impressed - great method and great recycling. Just one thing I am pondering which may not be a problem at all of course..... might it get a bit steamy inside those plastic bottles? I wonder if that might lead to fungal problems?

    My blueberries are in a cage of wire to stop birds. They are the only fruit that a birdy or possum might like in my patch

    1. The pics don't show it well, but it's just a column of plastic, so its open at the top and bottom to allow good air circulation, and drainage. So hopefully they should be alright. I like the idea of a wire cage. Lots less annoying to set up than nets!