K's Garden

Building a large garden on a budget

How to protect Crops with Netting Monday 26 March 2012

Crop Protection Netting depends on what you want to keep out

For birds use a Netting that has “holes” that are an inch or two wide, but for butterflies such as the Cabbage White or insects such as Carrot Fly you need something which is smaller, and the correct size – otherwise they will squeeze through.

Brassicas – Cabbages, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflowers etc – protect against Cabbage White butterfly in summer (I use Scafolders Debris Netting which is much cheaper than Enviromesh) and Birds in Winter (remove the fine netting in Winter otherwise snow will collapse the frame)

Carrots – protect against Carrot Fly – use enviromesh. Ignore the advice that the Carrot Fly cannot fly very high so you only need a “wall” to keep it out, make a “roof” as well, it only takes a few flies to ruin your crop, why take the risk?

Parsnip – worth using the same protection as Carrots. Carrot Fly doesn’t ruin Parsnips, as it does Carrots, but it does cause some damage and this is a cause for “canker” which is a nuisance when the Parsnips are harvested.

Peas – bird protection

I use Scaffolders Debris Netting where I don’t need a really fine mesh – cheap as chips compared to Enviromesh and lasts for years (the only think I use enviromesh for is Carrot Fly). If there is a building site using it near you you’ll probably be able to blag it for free, they usually chuck it away after a job.

Go for Black – I bought Green because I think it would blend in – it doesn’t! its more of a fashion statement!

Erection of butterfly protection (suitable for any netting using pipe-hoop) on my Brassicas by a 9 year old see blog article :
Netting Crops Using Pipe-hoops

Rabbits – make a “chicken wire” fence surrounding the plot, and turn the bottom 4″ outwards and lay flat on the ground so that the grass grows through (or you can bury it, but that is more work. Do not bury it “vertically” but rather “flat” as the rabbits will try to burrow under the netting and the flat skirt will prevent them better than just vertically deep netting.

Make sure you buy “rabbit netting” rather than “chicken wire” – the mesh is smaller, and small bunnies can get through a surprisingly small hole – I know, I’ve seen them actually squeezing through my rabbit-wire!


Gardening Naturally used to be the place for Enviromesh – they say they no longer sell it and have had their own material made instead (and called it Veggiemesh) with 1.35mm mesh

Gardening Naturally – Veggiemesh

they also have an “Ultra fine” version (0.8mm mesh) that supposedly will keep out Whitefly and Flea-beetle:

Gardening Naturally – Veggiemesh Ultra-Fine

Gardening Naturally are a reputable company and, although I haven’t tried it, Veggiemesh is probably a quality product.

Veggiemesh 1.35mm mesh 2.1 x 10m = £23.99 (£1.14 / sq.M) [Range of widths / lengths available]Ultra Fine 0.8mm mesh 2.1 x 4.5m Pack = £15.84 (£1.68 / sq.M)

There is also Wondermesh :


which has speciifc sizes for some very small pests …

Looks like the products are much-of-a-muchness, and Enviromesh have probably priced themselves out of the market.

WM16 (1.33mm mesh size) 3.65m x 10m = £30.10 (£0.82 / sq.M)
WM32 (0.6mm mesh size) 3.25m x 5m = £26.90 (£1.66 / sq.M)

By comparison Debris netting from Tarpaflex

2.0m x 50m = £25.98 (£0.26 / sq.M)


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