So which is best: garden netting or insect mesh? That depends on what you want it for and your personal preferences. Insect mesh does have some advantages over
Insect mesh does have some advantages over the garden netting.
But one thing is for certain is, if you have seen a Large or small cabbage white butterfly flying around something to protect your plants is a must!
Even with netting they can get through but it does hold back the worst and stop pigeons.
When Netting Gives the Illusion of Protection
I sat there and watched the cabbage white flutter up and down my protected cabbages. I had a very small netting hole, they could not get through – or so I thought. My sister had warned me this could happen, but you really have to see it for yourselves to fully appreciate the adaptability of nature.
The white butterfly settled on one of the plastic segments, folded it’s wings and slipped through triumphant into my brassica patch!
“Really! What a cheek!” I muttered rushing to the patch shooing the butterfly onto new pastures.
I’d always thought netting was enough. But I was wrong. While it may deter most butterflies, it won’t stop all of them. Mesh is much finer and so will keep out the butterflies from your lovely green brassica patch!
However, when it comes to things that need the bees, if you cover them then netting is better, but for those precious brassicas and if you want to protect your carrots from carrot fly the mesh protects much better. It will also protect whitefly and pigeons too.
The holes of the micro mesh are very tiny compared to netting, probably less and 0.5mm. Water does go through the holes so there is not additional watering (Phew!). You can get mesh either as a mesh only, or mesh as a grow tunnel in various sizes.
Mesh to Make Tunnels to Protect Your Plants
What I like about getting just mesh without any supports is it is easy to cut and shape to whatever size you want. So if like me you don’t have traditional rows but beds you can cover the whole bed.
Or if you do have traditional rows it is just as easy to use.
The disadvantage is that you need to provide some kind of support unless you intend to just sling it over the tops of the plants. You can use poles fixed together with connection balls or buy the wire frame separately.
Ready Made Insect Mesh Grow Tunnel
The Advantages of a Tunnel
You do not have to put together any structure so it saves you time (Yay!). It is less likely to have gaps as it is purpose built. It is ideal for specific areas and protects well.
As you can pull and push the mesh it is easy to get into for weeding and maintenance or getting out your produce. The tunnel is fairly stable even in high winds.
Disadvantages of Using a Pre-Made Tunnel
The sizes are fixed so will not adapt to the whole or part of your beds or more than one row.
Overall Disadvantages of Both types
The main disadvantage of both types that I can see is that due to its fine mesh the wind is more likely to hit it and knock it about (although it has although been suggested that the tunnel is quite stable).
This may be a consideration if your allotment or garden is in an exposed area. My sister had this on her fruit bushes and the wind just blasted them. However, in fairness, the cages were about 3 foot high! This is the type of mesh that one lady on our allotments used to great success in growing her carrots, something that doesn’t grow well on our site. And this site is very exposed.