Nothing is as frustrating as seeing your tomatoes destroyed or eaten before you decide to harvest them! Birds and insects are the usual culprits. If you've decided to put a net over your tomato plants but wonder what kind is best, don't worry! We have researched this question for you.
The best netting for your tomato plants are:
- "Zonpor" Store Plant Protection Net Bag
- "Purple Star" Insect and Bird Net
- "Honoson" Plant Net Bags
- "Shappy" Garden Insect Plant Cover
- "GSINODRS" Bird Netting
- "Sirozi" Barrier Bag Plant Barrier Net Mesh
Now that you have a list of top products to choose from, you may want to know about each product's details before you decide which one to purchase. Listed below are the features of each product. Read on and take a gander to understand what each product has to offer.
"Zonpor Store" Plant Protection Net Bag
There is a reason why the Plant Protection Net bag by Zonpor Store is first on this list. This is because this polyethylene (PE) net bag protects the plant from harmful UV rays. Its 39" x 69" size will fit most medium to large tomato plants.
It has a drawstring that makes it easy to secure, and it is relatively tough enough to withstand strong winds and harmful sunlight.
The product allows for watering without having to take away the plant protection bag. Its net hole size also allows for fertilization. However, the trade-off is that this product is more for protection against birds and not small insects and pests.
"Purple Star" Insect and Bird Net
This product measures 6.5" x 8.2", large enough to cover medium to large tomato plants. It is made from PE and high-quality mesh cloth and designed to protect against birds, insects, and pests. It has a simple but effective drawstring designed for easy use.
This product allows for watering and sunlight without having to take off the net, and can easily be taken off when pruning.
"Honoson" Plant Net Bags
Honoson Plant Net bags measure 47" x 55" with an adjustable drawstring design. They are made from PE material, with a small hole diameter to protect it from insects and other pests. They will also protect the tomato plant from birds.
However, the light material may not be able to protect it from rodents and small animals that can tear off the net. Finally, this product may be used as storage bags for fruits.
"Shappy" Garden Insect Plant Cover
Another product that can protect against UV rays, Shappy Garden Insect Plant Cover is conveniently designed with both zipper and rope. This makes it easy to install and access the plant for pruning or harvesting your tomatoes without having to take off the entire net.
Its fine meshed material is durable and hard to break and will protect against birds, insects, and pests while being able to receive water and sunlight without needing to take it off.
"GSINODRS" Bird Netting
This product is made of high-quality elastic nylon, making it durable to withstand harsh sunlight and strong winds. It is primarily recommended as bird protection for tomato plants and fruit trees, vegetables, and flower beds. It is easy to install on your garden bed and can be reused.
Simply tie the net to your garden stakes or garden bed frame. One of the best things about this product is that the company provides 24/7 customer service! This way you can ask a customer service representative any question regarding the installation and use of their product.
"Sirozi" Barrier Bag Plant Barrier Net Mesh
This product measures 4.5" x 3.5 " and is designed with a drawstring. Made from polyethylene, it lasts long and resists tearing. Another advantage is that products made from polyethylene are considered eco-friendly because they cause less damage to the environment than ordinary nylon products.
The bags are reusable and may be used as storage bags to hold your harvest. They will fit most small to moderate-sized tomato plants and will protect against small rodents, birds, insects, and pests.
Should You Put Netting Over Tomatoes?
The biggest reason to put netting over your tomato plants is to prevent birds from eating the ripe tomatoes.
The common problem faced by gardeners and tomato growers is that as soon as the tomatoes ripen and turn red, birds will start to peck at them and insects get into the holes created to eat the tomato from inside. Placing a net over the tomato plant solves this problem right away.
What Else Can You Do To Prevent Birds From Eating Your Tomato?
There are other ways you can protect your tomatoes from birds. You can try combining any of the following:
- Bird Bath - A big reason why birds eat ripened tomatoes is that they are thirsty. The moisture in the ripened tomato quenches their thirst. Placing a bird bath in the garden gives them a ready alternative to getting moisture from your tomatoes to quench their thirst.
- Cloches - Cloches are covers that protect your plant from the cold, pests, birds, and the wind. You can use wire or plastic cloches, or even fashion it yourself out of used plastic bottles.
- Distraction - You can give the birds a substitute and attractive target instead of the tomatoes such as water, berries, or a bird seed dispenser.
- Scare them away - You can use a scarecrow, wind chimes, or shiny hanging objects to scare the birds away.
What Else Can You Do To Protect Your Tomato Plants From Insects and Pests?
You can also do other things as part of an overall pest control program to protect your tomatoes from insects. These steps are considered part of a natural and organic method of pest control.
By combining these steps you will be able to minimize the risk that comes with pests that may damage your tomato plants.
- Plant flowers - Flowers will attract predator pests that will eat the insects that devour your tomatoes. An added advantage is that they will also attract pollinators.
- Poly-crop - Poly-cropping lessens the smell of the tomato that attracts its pests and insects. The combined smell will also confuse them.
- Companion plant - There are companion plants that fend off pests and insects due to their aroma and scent. Amaranth, basil, chives, mint, and parsley are all good companion plants for tomatoes and will ward off insects and pests.
- Beekeeping - Keeping bees will protect your tomatoes by introducing a large population of bees that predate insect pests. They again will also be an added benefit as pollinators.
- Yellow sticky traps - You can purchase or DIY yellow sticky traps that will attract and trap insects and pests in your garden. Combine this by placing the sticky trap inside the tomato plant netting to maximize protection against insect pests.
How Do You Put Netting Over Tomato Plants?
You have two choices if you decide to net your tomatoes. You can either cover the whole bed with a net or wrap the net over individual plants. If you decide to cover the whole bed, make sure that there are no spaces at the bottom where birds may enter and be trapped inside the net enclosure.
What Are The Disadvantages of Using Nets For Your Tomato Plant?
There are several tradeoffs that you have to consider before you decide to use a net as a cover for your tomato plants. These cons are:
- Limiting Access - Placing a net over your tomato plants will make it difficult for you to access, prune, and harvest your tomatoes.
- Preventing Pollinators - Having a barrier over your tomato plants may hinder pollinator insects such as bees to access your plants. To mitigate this, you can hand pollinate your tomato plants instead.
- Preventing birds from eating pests - The barrier will also prevent birds from eating the pests that treat your plants as a buffet!
Can You Use Wire Mesh Instead of Netting For Tomato Plants?
Using wire mesh instead of a net has several advantages. It is easier to prop up without the use of stakes or a frame.
You can use bigger gauged and sized wire mesh for climbing support, or smaller, easier-to-use wire sizes as ready cages to protect against birds. You can easily roll a wire mesh around a tomato plant to create a tomato tower.
There are plenty of products out there to choose from when it comes to covering your tomatoes with a net. However, make sure to take into consideration the ease of installation and use when pruning and harvesting your tomatoes.
The best product will not only protect your tomato plants from birds, insects, pests, and rodents but will add to the efficiency of your garden operations. Nets that are reusable or can be used as storage bags for your harvest are examples.
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