A few years ago when my mom was living in Napa Valley, she had an ongoing battle against the local deer and turkeys over the almost-ripened fruit she had been waiting for all winter. Recently I spotted this simple (and not completely unattractive) way to cover fruit trees in the winter, keeping them safe from nearby birds and animals until ready to harvest.
The idea comes from Blue Hill Farm, a 138-acre farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where pear trees were covered in a lightweight fleece cover and tied off with sturdy twine. After flowering and pollinating are over, cover green fruit with our sources below—and see this week's 10 Easy Pieces: Plant Blankets for more ideas for keeping the garden warm.
Above: A pear tree covered in the garden at Blue Hill Farm; photograph via EATspeak.
Above: Allowing 75-percent light transmission, the lightweight Reemay Polyester Fleece Row Cover protects from frost down to 30 degrees; $15.95 for a 67-inch wide, 20-foot long piece at Territorial Seed Company. Photograph of broccoli under twine from Fiskars.
N.B.: Looking for more DIY in the garden? See 115 other DIY Project Ideas in our archive.