Netting and Garden Fabrics–Protecting Your Plants for Spring!

Photo by Chris Greenhow

Tired of pesky animals and birds getting into the garden and ruining the crop? There are simple, non-toxic techniques that can be used prevent this. Garden fabrics and other netting are a great alternative to spraying nasty chemicals on your crops to repel animals and birds. Garden fabrics also allows for protection from heat, insects, cold and the wind.

Netting and garden fabrics help to prevent plants from being foraged by critters. When purchasing netting, it is much more advantageous to spend a little more money to get a sturdy net made from polyethylene. Cheaper nets are not as well made and can tangle easily when removed. Even worse, birds and other animals can get caught in these flimsy nets.

An effective fabric for preventing insects from getting into your crop is wedding netting or tulle.  This is a very effective method when utilized because it can keep moths (that turn into larvae) and flies (that turn into maggots) off of your plants.

Differents fabrics

Varying weights of fabrics should be used depending on the time of year and the weather. Light weather fabrics are best used during warm weather conditions. These allow 95% of light in and don’t retain much heat. As the weather cools down, mid-weight netting should be used to protect from the cooling conditions. During winter months, heavy-duty fabric is needed to shelter plantings against harsh weather and to keep plants warm.

Fabrics or netting can be placed right over the plants or the netting can be draped over garden hoops. The material should not be stretched tight when placed without a garden hoop. There should be a little slack so plants have room to grow. To keep the fabric in position when placing fabric over the plants or hoops, mound the dirt over the bottom of the fabric. A more simple solution, but more costly, is to use special garden staples or stakes to hold the fabric in place.

Variety of costs

Depending on what type of fabric used, these covers may be costly. To extend the life of garden fabrics or netting make sure to fold the netting and store in a room away from sunlight and moisture. Most types of fabric can be used for at least 2 years if proper care is taken.

Netting is perfect for the organic gardener who wants to humanely keep animals and insects out of the garden plot. The advantages of using fabrics outweigh the cost of the netting: fresh vegetables that have not been picked on by animals increased crop yield and extended growing seasons. It is never too late in the season to begin utilizing these techniques. Try these tips for your next garden plot for amazing results.

Watch the video for more tips for protecting your garden.


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