Insect net, also called insect mesh or insect screen net, is the best way to protect your plants from hungry insects that might otherwise decimate your garden. Gardeners have used this classic gardening tool for decades, but are you using it the right way?
Many gardeners assume they know how to use insect netting, but if you haven’t tried these 10 tips before, you’ll be amazed at how much better your plants will do when you follow these great tips on how to use insect net in the garden.
Table of Contents
Insect Net tips
1. Prevent Birds from Eating Vegetables
If you’re growing vegetables, you might want to try an insect net for your Polyhouse. One of my favourite ways to use these is as a way to deter birds from feasting on my edible plants.
I don’t like it when they peck holes into my tomatoes and raspberries; I cover them with nets and make sure nothing can touch them.
Insect net for Polyhouse
2. Create a Temporary Greenhouse
Outdoor greenhouses can be expensive, but don’t let that hold you back. If you want to get a jump on your spring vegetable garden or winter tomatoes, it may make sense to create a temporary greenhouse.
Just pick up some insect netting (or other sturdy mesh), secure it over an existing structure like a cold frame or make your own hoop house with hardware cloth, and presto! You have an affordable way to start growing things early in winter or extend your growing season into fall.
3. Attract Birds to Your Yard
If you have an interest in attracting birds to your yard, insect netting is a great way to do so. Birds love insects, and they also need food during harsh winter months.
By keeping an area of your garden covered with insect netting, you can help provide for both types of birds—the ones that visit your feeders and those that come for free meals. Simply cover large bushes or shrubs with clear plastic and tie it down to stumps or chairs for easy access.
The open mesh allows plenty of sunlight through while still preventing bugs from getting out; once darkness sets in, all those nighttime fliers will be trapped inside, where hungry birds can snack on them throughout the night.
4. Provide Shelter from Extreme Weather
If you have insect netting on hand, consider staking it around a plant or two for added protection from bad weather. A large garden with a variety of plants and flowers is always appealing, but don’t neglect some of your hardier perennials—particularly if you live in an area with extreme weather like heavy winds or hail.
The plastic mesh allows air and sunlight through but protects your plants from natural elements that might otherwise damage them. Just remember to leave enough slack so that you can get your hands into each row. You should also bring along garden clippers just in case any snags need repair while you’re out there working.
Mesh Insect Netting
5. Contain Rabbits from Damaging Plants
A cute bunny hopping through your garden may seem like a fun addition, but it could end up devastating your plants. Unless you’re looking for quick and easy dinner recipes, make sure you protect your green space with some high-quality netting.
By preventing rabbits from damaging any of your prized flowers and vegetables, you can safeguard against thousands of dollars worth of lost crops.
You may even want to double down on prevention methods; if mice or voles are also an issue, mesh fencing around your garden beds will keep them at bay as well.
6. Keep Cats from Killing Birds
Sometimes cats can be downright terrifying, especially when they’re stalking birds. If you want to protect your bird population from domestic felines, try placing netting on or around your bird feeders.
The fine mesh of these nets will keep cats at bay without significantly impacting their ability to hunt. Just make sure that if your cat is larger than average that he doesn’t use his paws to scale his way up and over—these won’t hold him back!
For extra protection against large predators like coyotes, consider covering nearby bushes with nylon siding. You may think it looks ugly, but your feathered friends will appreciate it.
7. Raise Fruit Flies for Fish Food
While fish may seem like a strange food source for fruit flies, they’re actually one of the most common insects used as bait and food for freshwater fish. Fruit flies can be raised indoors and released at will into your fish tank.
Because you’ll be raising these fruit flies specifically for use as bait or food, it’s important that you set up a quarantine area so that any diseases or pests don’t spread to your existing garden.
8. Stop Slugs from Destroying Vegetables
It’s tempting to let slugs have their way with your garden—they’re small, slimy, and sometimes adorable—but slugs are voracious pests. Check out an insect net before you plant anything. Once it’s up, trap slugs inside with a bug-proof border. If they try to escape through your fencing, they won’t make it past!
9. Protect Trees from Animal Damage
Tired of squirrels and rabbits ruining your fruit trees? One way to protect trees from animal damage is by covering them with insect netting. To get started, fasten a piece of fine mesh netting around each tree’s trunk. Be sure not to use anything larger than 1/4 inch; squirrels and birds can slip through larger holes. Next, cut off any extra material.
Lastly, hang one or two pieces of small mesh netting over branches that hang low enough for animals to jump onto. You can also loop smaller branches into loops and then stretch more mesh over the top of these loops so that only small mammals like mice and chipmunks will be able to get through.
Get the best Agricultural Insect Net at Shriji Irrigation.