It has been proven that raffia string might be the responsible of losing a whole harvest.

horizontal support installed on crops
Using raffia for the support crops may not be a good method.

Raffia string for horticulture has been used for many years as a material for tutoring. Nevertheless, it has been proven that it is the focus of multiple infections that can mar a whole harvest. This is so because the organic material it is made of is perfect for plagues and bacteria to grow and proliferate. The twisted and rolled form of the string helps these unwanted hosts to hide inside the string’s grooves, making them immune to fumigation. A clear example of the danger that the use of this thread represents is the Black Death; this virus was rapidly propagated in tomato plantations where twine was used for tutoring, which could have been avoided if there had been plastic at the time.

Another of the several disadvantages of using raffia string for horticulture is that tutoring trellises take a really long time to be made, which causes the increment of labor costs and delays in the production. Using this material for tutoring makes the task very complicated and tedious because, as plants grow, it is needed to adapt the trellis to their new distribution by having to use even more string to hold new branches in place; at the end of the day this makes agronomists lose a lot of money in material. As if that were not enough, it is very probable that the trellis ends up being cut by mistake, which results in having to make the whole trellis from the beginning. Trellises made of raffia string for horticulture cannot be reused after being withdrawn to harvest; this is so because at this point they are already very weak, and using them again for new plantings would mean having to change it in a few days.

vertical support apply in crops
There are other methods that can replace the raffia system.

Because all of these reason the use of raffia twine has become a costly, dangerous to cultivation and obsolete practice. Fortunately, there are a lot of better options when tutoring materials for horticulture is about, and one of them are plastic meshes. These meshes are made of a strong, inorganic material that is much more long lasting, resistant and easier to use than raffia string for horticulture, and it is also cheaper. When twine trellises have to be weaved and then placed, plastic ones are installed in a quarter of the time required by the other, and this is because it already comes trellised from the factory, making you save time and labor. Another good aspect about plastic trellises is that you do not need to rearrange them as plants grow. Once they are placed, the only thing that is needed to be done is to take care of the plant until crop can be picked up, so you will not have to worry about the mesh all way through the process. But if you still need extra support for new branches you can hold them to the mesh with reusable Hortoclips. Besides raffia string for horticulture, plastic meshes turn out to be more resistant and long lasting: After being disassembled they can be shaken, washed and used again up to four (4) times.

The advantage of using plastic net is that it prevents the appearance and growth of fungi.

The last, but not the least important advantage of plastic trellises is their excellent hygiene. Being inorganic means that it is impossible for plagues and fungus to be lodged and grow in this material; besides, there is no place in which they can hide since the trellis’s wires are completely flat, and this is precisely to avoid infections and to ease the maintenance of sanitary measures.

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