Will bird netting keep rodents away from leafy greens?

Sadly, I had several 3’ tall kale plants producing bountifully and then one day suddenly something gnawed the plants down to a row of stubs. These same creatures are going after my swiss chard now. My raised bed with leafy greens has been decimated and I haven’t been able to harvest anything.

My plan is go build a structure (cage) around the bed that I can use either to drape bird netting over or cover with chicken wire to prevent these creatures from reaching my plants.

Which would you use? Bird netting or chicken wire?
I know I have voles, squirrels and birds in my yard. Potentially raccoons too. Thanks. If I go with chicken wire, I will also use shade cloth to protect the plants from the sun in the summertime.

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If it is larger critters like Rabbits, Squirrels, Deer… the bird netting might help, chicken wire perhaps better.

I don’t have much trouble with anything getting my greens until early winter, perhaps Christmas or later… and then the deer mow them down. Spinach and Lettuce go first, then lastly Collards.

Last year just after Christmas they mowed my carrot tops down too.

I don’t put on netting or chicken wire… I use a 17 HMR… but I live out in the country.

Good Luck !


First thing I would do is set up a trail camera to see who the culprit is.

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I have found netting alone does not do it because animals get smart and figure out how to move netting that is not secured. I planted 3 or 4 gold saturn peach trees from stark bros. I put one in the dog kennel which had a gate and 2 out in the open with netting. The first to go was in the dog kennel. After that they got into the netting and were able to take the tree down a few nodes. First one was not fixable but the second one I can at least retrain over time. I devised a plan with netting to stop it. I am growing in pots currently and what I did was get some twine, netting and some zip ties. Since I am growing in pots for another year or two I could put zip ties around the bottom and the netting. I then looped the twine in the zip ties around the pot. Then tied the twine to the pot. I have not had problems since. You can either do that system or you will need to figure out another system to tie down the netting.

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Ugh. How frustrating for you! I’m surprised they got into your kennel! Maybe when you get a chance and it’s not too much of a hassle, you could post a photo of your netting / twine/ zip tie system? – no hurry. I would love to see a photo tho.

Yeah, I think that makes sense but I’m feeling cheap and I already have all the stuff I need to build the cage…

While this does not apply to you because you are growing leafy greens I do know that trees get to the point that they do not really need it as much once they get bigger. I will post a picture of my Utah Giant cherry tree without it, a stark saturn with it and my gold saturn with it. tree 1 tree 2 tree 3

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Sounds like rabbit stew…you have (had) the veggies…now you get the meat and add it to the kettle. :upside_down_face:


I would try a mini hoop tunnel with light weight remay type fabric.
Should help protect from you pests and many greens benefit from the light shade in a hot area


Thanks for the photos! I get it now! This is super helpful!

I’ve found that rodents chew holes through netting. If i want to exclude rabbits i use chicken wire. If i want to exclude chipmunks i use hardware cloth.

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I would use small gauge wire.