When you've worked hard to cultivate a thriving garden, the last thing you want is critters to invade and eat everything you planted. This simple netting and masonry ladders setup will deter birds and rabbits, and it's easy to make. Image from Jennifer C.
Masonry ladders are sets of wire that run parallel to each other with short wires connecting them every foot or so. They're durable, sturdy and cheap. Cut them with heavy duty wire cutters, bend them into a semi-circle shape, and bend them over each end of your garden bed. If you have a very long bed, you may need to add more masonry ladders in the middle to keep the netting off your plants. Next, lay your plastic netting over the masonry ladders. Make sure the netting is taut so birds don't get caught in it. Then, secure the netting to the boards of your raised bed with heavy duty staples. If rabbits are a problem, try using metal mesh on the bottom portion over the netting so they can't chew through.
Harvest your garden by removing the staples from one end of the netting, move the masonry ladder to the other end of the bed, and loop the netting over the masonry ladder. You'll be able to harvest then put your protective netting back in place in only a few minutes.