What Should I Cover My Fruit and Vegetables With?
What Garden Covering Is Right For Me?
There are a variety of coverings that you can put over your crops, tunnel kits or cages. It is important to select the right covering to ensure that your crops have the best chance of growing and surviving all year round. Coverings will not only protect against common garden pests, such as birds and butterflies but also extreme weather conditions, such as snow and ice. Whatever the issue, it is important that your plants, fruit and vegetables are protected.
Green bird netting will stop birds reaching and destroying your crops without harming the birds. Coming with a mesh size of 19mm x 19mm, it can be laid directly over your crop, tunnels or cages. This is useful as it still allows bees through for pollination. It is made from UV stabilized polyethylene and will last for up to 10 years.
Black bird netting is a high quality and heavy-duty netting that will also help you safely keep birds away from your crops. However, it has a slightly larger mesh size than the green bird netting, 20mm x 20mm. It is soft to touch and tangle free, meaning it is ideal to cover your crops with. Similar to the green bird netting, it can last for up to 10 years. It also comes in a variety of sizes, up to 12m wide!
Soft Butterfly Netting
Coming in either green or black and up to 8m wide, soft butterfly netting is ideal to protect your crops if you are having issues with butterflies or caterpillars. This is mainly due to its mesh size, 5mm x 7mm, so much smaller than the bird netting, while being a slightly softer fabric to touch. It is soft enough to be able to lay directly over crops, hoops or cages. It is made from HDPE and is UV stabilized, making it strong enough to last for up to 10 years. If you are having issues with falling debris over your pond, or from other pests, then this netting is ideal to place over your pond. It is convenient to use as you do not need to take the netting off to water and feed your crops.
Veggiemesh and Ultrafine Veggiemesh
Due to its much finer mesh size of 1.35mm x 1.35mm, veggiemesh will ensure that your crops will be left free from insect damage without the need to use any dangerous chemicals. There is no need for any supports as the netting “grows” with the crop. Just lay the veggiemesh over your plants or seeds, but be cautious to allow enough slack for your crops to grow.
It can keep out: Birds, butterflies, caterpillars, deer, carrot fly, cabbage white butterfly, pea moth, cutworm, leek moth, leaf miners and many species of aphids, rabbits, foxes and many more garden pests.
It has a light passage of 90% and an air passage of 95%. This is identical to the ultrafine veggiemesh, however it has an even finer mesh size of 0.8mm x 0.8mm. The ultrafine veggiemesh will keep out even the smallest of aphids, making it ideal if you are having that particular issue.
30g garden fleece is ideal for protecting your crops from temperatures as low as -6 degrees Celsius. It is the perfect insulation for any crop and can also be used in greenhouses for greenhouse insulation. It is UV stabilized and is made from spun bonded polypropylene. This means that is should last for several seasons, while being machine washable on a ‘wool’ wash. Crucially, water, light and air are able to penetrate the fleece. Fleece will not only protect your crops, but it will also maintain your soil quality and ensure that it is kept healthy.
Thermacrop is an easy to handle, long lasting alternative to 30g fleece. It will protect your plants from temperatures from as low as -3 degrees Celsius and will last for up to 5 years. Mainly, it will protect your crops from bad weather such as frost, snow or extreme rain and wind. Made from given strips of a very soft polyethylene, it is important to remember to monitor your thermacrop as the weather gets warmer, so you do not ‘suffocate’ your plants.
Polythene plant protection is UV stabilized and is a lightweight 150 gauge. It is ideal for placing directly over your plants or hoops. Lasting for up to 5 years, it has many different uses around the garden, however its primary use is to protect plants from the wind, rain, snow and frost. Similar to the garden fleece, it will form and physical barrier between your crops and garden pests. It will also keep small birds away from your crop. The polythene will create a microclimate underneath, which will help bring on young crops.