Blueberry cage roof question

Right now I use netting for my roof and take it down every late fall because of snow and the ice. Does anyone here in the winter states have a permanent roof and what is it. Pictures would be great. I’m thinking it would have to be strong for the snow.

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Hey John,

I made a blueberry cage out of bird netting with 1/4" holes. I jammed posts into the soil and pretty much crudely wrapped the area (6 bushes) with the netting. I used old logs to weigh the net down at the bottom and laid netting across the top. I then tied the netting together with zip ties. I don’t think I lost a single berry to birds.

I was considering taking down the net for the winter but decided to keep it up and so far there has been no damage to the netting because of snow. I would say the snow just falls through and we haven’t had that much ice, but some, and it still seems okay.

Hope this helps.

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I too started with netting but it is very labor intensive so I am slowly converting all enclosures to permanent cages with chicken wire sides and top. This one is for blueberries and a boysenberry and one fig tree. This year I am going to enclose my grapes and tall spindles in the same manner. My raspberry trellis enclosure is still holding its own with the bird netting so it will stay for now.

This grape enclosure has been dismantled this past summer due to bad design so that too will be enclosed in same cage as tall spindles. Pretty soon my whole garden will be in a massive cage.


I like your blueberry cage and have a couple of questions. What size are the openings on the chicken wire? What are the overall dimensions of the cage?

I may have to just do the roof like the sides, unfortunately none of my posts are perfect or in line so I’ll have to just deal with it. I wish I’d been more of a perfectionist when I built it.

Yes I’m trying to make everything I do less labor intensive. As I get older I don’t want to deal with the clean up ect of having a fruit and veggie garden.

Chicken wire is 1 inch opening. Everything is on 8ft centers.

This is best photo I have of inside of cage looking at the top. Roof supports r on 4 ft centers to eliminate sagging of wire.


Thanks, that’s a big help. Planning on something similar in the near future. Squirrels chew right thru my netting to get the blueberries.

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I left my netting up two winters ago and a very wet, windy, and sticky snow started accumulating and it caved in. All of the heavy snow and netting I think took a lot of buds down and that summer less fruit.

Nice set up!


If you staple your chicken wire to those stout beams, that should hold most any snowfall, I would think. I have made individual roofed cages of just chicken wire twisted together for each bush, but the cages tend to get squished down by heavy snow some years. I usually can just bend them back into shape without a lot of damage to the bushes. They are not easy to access for picking, though, so now I use cylinders of wire just lightly folded over and twisted or lightly wired together on top so I can open to reach down inside to pick. That only works on the small northern highbush varieties which only get about 4’ tall. I have plans of a PVC quonset-shaped enclosure with wire around the bottom and netting on the top, so I can walk in to pick, once my bushes get tall enough to warrant. That’s quite the project you have there. Wow!

Hi John - We built a light weight cage that could be dismantled so I could take it down when not needed (last longer and be out of my way). My BBs are inside the orchard/garden fence so I only have to protect from birds. It would likely hold up in the snow if left out though. It’s made of 1" poultry fencing. Maybe you could do something similar for a roof by putting a 1x2 (or something) across the tops of the posts you already have. My tops (and sides) are simple frames with poultry netting stapled on. They are just slightly wider than the permanent rail, so just sit on top. The sides hang from the tops (on latches or hooks). Easy to put up and take down (and get into). Sue




Nice setup.

I set up my blueberry cage in a few hours without measuring tape or a saw, beyond cutting cedar posts harvested from the nearby woods. I think the best material to use is plastic coated 1" chicken wire buried a few inches into the ground, except that it has to be augmented for chipmunk protection. I trap mine out, but if you use monfiliment bird netting on the outside Alvin usually leaves things alone, even if its only on the bottom 2’.

You can build a more complex frame and that is fine for the handy with time on their hands, but if you bring in extra stakes, say 2X2" 8’ pressure treated ones in the late fall to hold the cage up during heavy, wet snow you don’t need such a formal construction to survive winter. With any but the strongest structure, when the snow starts to build up you may have to remove snow and the more rigid the frame the harder that can be to do.

All I did was sink cedar posts in the ground and wrap the chicken wire around them and over the top, securing things with stainless steel wire. That and dug a shallow trench preceding putting up the chicken wire. Been keeping out birds and squirrels for 20 years now- 8 big plants which keep me with frozen blueberries through winter. Still have a couple of bags left.

That’s sure a beautiful set up. What’s the reason to box the plants, bugs? I grow everything open. Right now my bb are still small. I am surprised they made it through the winter. This is the first time to grow bb.

Birds will eat or ruin every berry.

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