UPDATE: This idea is a complete failure–see the ugly details here.
Last month I sang the praises of floating row cover as an insect barrier. The only problem is that floating row cover retains heat, and so when our fall and winter days turn hot, as they so often do, it gets way too hot and humid inside the “tent.” So as Marshall McLuhan was fond of saying, “If you don’t like that idea, I’ve got others.” Specifically, bird netting.
I’ve got an untested theory that bird netting is enough to keep out the white butterflies that give birth to the dreaded cabbage leaf caterpillar, the only serious pest for us at this time of year. So far the bird netting seems to be working. I’ll note that it would be important to keep the leaves of plants well away from the netting so that butterflies can’t lay eggs through it. The best way to do this is by planting arches of wire or tubing over your garden bed, and stretching the cover material over those arches– like a covered wagon.
Netting has advantages over row cover: you can see and water through it and it’s more readily available.
I’m curious what you, our dear readers, think of the idea?
- Mrs. Homegrown chimes in: I’ll add that in the past readers have said they use tulle material as an insect barrier– you know, the stuff used to make tutus.