It is easy to see then why we were dismayed to find something was nibbling on our pea plants when they were only a few inches high. All the other plants in the garden were undisturbed, and it didn't look like bugs were chewing the leaves; it actually looked more like they had been snipped off with scissors. After a little searching online, we decided it was probably birds going after them.
Without anymore netting on hand like we use to cover the strawberries and blueberries, I had to come up with another plan. (Anything to avoid a trip to the hardware store with children in tow...) I thought a bit and it came to mind that my mom had used the film out of an old video tape strung around fenceposts to keep deer away from their small apple tree and blueberry bushes. Since the peas are planted next to small fences, I thought maybe I could make a similar setup work.
I traipsed down to the basement to dig out an old video tape, then tore it apart to get the spool of film out.
Then I worked it back and forth over the outer fence and two pea fences, let it hang loose for maximum flappage (yep, that's now a word). I secured it with twist-ties.
I am sure the neighbors are curious to know what redneck thing we've got going on this time...
...but I knew there was a reason I kept a box of old videos and an absurd amount of used twist-ties around. Borderline hoarder tendency for the win.
A week later, it appears to be working. The peas plants are growing and I can't see anymore damage to them. From what I read, I should be able to take this all down once the plants get a little bigger and the birds won't bother with larger plants. I hope that's the case, because I failed to consider how I could get in there to weed and the weeds are definitely coming.
Just for kicks, here's my little helper from that morning, who will probably ingest more peas raw than cooked in the course of the summer.