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Use of Horticultural Mesh in Raised Crop Beds

Use of Horticultural Mesh in Raised Crop Beds

Horticultural mesh is a very lightweight fabric that allows light and water to pass through while trapping heat underneath. By trapping heat, it can protect sensitive plants against several degrees of frost. It can be easily place and remove and, if treated properly, can last three to four years. Generally, it can extend the growing season by two to three weeks at the beginning and end of the season.

Types of Horticultural Meshes

The main difference between horticultural meshes is the weight of the fabric. In the UK, the two most common weights for frost protection are 17g per square meter and 30g per square meter, which shows how lightweight the material really is. The heavier the fabric, the more frost protection it can provide. Generally, the 17g mesh will protect plants down to -2°C, and the 30g mesh will protect plants down to -5°C. These figures are not guaranteed as they depend on many factors, including wind speed. Remember, it’s very possible to double a 17g mesh, giving it a weight of 34g and corresponding frost protection. Apart from the weight increase, the downside of heavier mesh weights is that the heavier it is, the more light it blocks from reaching the plants underneath.

Horticultural Mesh
INVERNAVELO® horticultural netting is a very light fabric that allows light and water to pass through it and traps heat underneath, protecting crops from frost.

Horticultural Mesh Protection

However, frost protection is not the only use for the mesh. Even when not at risk of frost, any temperature increase around the plants helps many of them grow better. The other use is protecting plants against insect and small pest attacks at key stages of their growth. When the main goal is pest control, even lighter meshes are available. The normal mesh fabric size is 2mm, small enough to prevent most insects from reaching your plants. Although not very strong, the mesh is more than enough to protect plants from bird attacks.

Using Horticultural Mesh

One of the principles of horticultural mesh is that it can be place directly over a crop, and the crop can still grow normally underneath. This is true in most cases with meshes up to 20g, and even 30g meshes for use for approximately one week. When coverage is need for a longer period of time, supporting the mesh can be helpful. The above example of mesh with a support structure seems to be made by a perfectionist, and besides looking good, it will certainly last several years. In fact, the mesh can be support by any number of structures depending on how long you want it to last. A common support method is plastic pipes use for plumbing. It’s cheap, durable, and does an excellent job.

INVERNAVELO® thermal blanket
the INVERNAVELO® thermal blanket can be placed directly over a crop and the crop will still be able to grow normally under the blanket.

The mesh definitely needs to be well-secured, as even small winds can easily lift it. The cheapest method to secure it is to dig a small trench around the covered area, place the edges of the mesh in the trench, and cover them with soil. The problem with this solution is that it’s difficult to remove and replace the mesh. A line of spare bricks strategically placed on the mesh around the edges does a good job of securing it. It’s also relatively easy to remove the mesh and replace it. Many companies that sell mesh also sell various mechanisms to secure it to the ground. These are obviously a more expensive solution, but they’re worth looking into.

Greenhouse
The INVERNAVELO® frost blanket is recommended to be secured because even light air flow can easily lift the fabric.

Fill out the form below to let us know your questions or comments:

Horticultural mesh is a very lightweight fabric that allows light and water to pass through while trapping heat underneath. By trapping heat, it can protect sensitive plants against several degrees of frost. It can be easily place and remove and, if treated properly, can last three to four years. Generally, it can extend the growing season by two to three weeks at the beginning and end of the season.

Types of Horticultural Meshes

The main difference between horticultural meshes is the weight of the fabric. In the UK, the two most common weights for frost protection are 17g per square meter and 30g per square meter, which shows how lightweight the material really is. The heavier the fabric, the more frost protection it can provide. Generally, the 17g mesh will protect plants down to -2°C, and the 30g mesh will protect plants down to -5°C. These figures are not guaranteed as they depend on many factors, including wind speed. Remember, it’s very possible to double a 17g mesh, giving it a weight of 34g and corresponding frost protection. Apart from the weight increase, the downside of heavier mesh weights is that the heavier it is, the more light it blocks from reaching the plants underneath.

Horticultural Mesh
INVERNAVELO® horticultural netting is a very light fabric that allows light and water to pass through it and traps heat underneath, protecting crops from frost.

Horticultural Mesh Protection

However, frost protection is not the only use for the mesh. Even when not at risk of frost, any temperature increase around the plants helps many of them grow better. The other use is protecting plants against insect and small pest attacks at key stages of their growth. When the main goal is pest control, even lighter meshes are available. The normal mesh fabric size is 2mm, small enough to prevent most insects from reaching your plants. Although not very strong, the mesh is more than enough to protect plants from bird attacks.

Using Horticultural Mesh

One of the principles of horticultural mesh is that it can be place directly over a crop, and the crop can still grow normally underneath. This is true in most cases with meshes up to 20g, and even 30g meshes for use for approximately one week. When coverage is need for a longer period of time, supporting the mesh can be helpful. The above example of mesh with a support structure seems to be made by a perfectionist, and besides looking good, it will certainly last several years. In fact, the mesh can be support by any number of structures depending on how long you want it to last. A common support method is plastic pipes use for plumbing. It’s cheap, durable, and does an excellent job.

INVERNAVELO® thermal blanket
the INVERNAVELO® thermal blanket can be placed directly over a crop and the crop will still be able to grow normally under the blanket.

The mesh definitely needs to be well-secured, as even small winds can easily lift it. The cheapest method to secure it is to dig a small trench around the covered area, place the edges of the mesh in the trench, and cover them with soil. The problem with this solution is that it’s difficult to remove and replace the mesh. A line of spare bricks strategically placed on the mesh around the edges does a good job of securing it. It’s also relatively easy to remove the mesh and replace it. Many companies that sell mesh also sell various mechanisms to secure it to the ground. These are obviously a more expensive solution, but they’re worth looking into.

Greenhouse
The INVERNAVELO® frost blanket is recommended to be secured because even light air flow can easily lift the fabric.

Fill out the form below to let us know your questions or comments:

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