$100 Discount: 8 Most Profitable Crops

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Why Insect Netting is Important in a Market Garden

insect netting

Insect netting is such an integral part of growing certain crops successfully. If you are an organic grower, you understand that ensuring little to no loss in your seasons production is your biggest priority. Insect netting contributes to the safety of your crops when installed in a timely and appropriate manner. They should cover your crops tightly with no visible holes. In addition to being installed before the insect pest has already started.

In learning from our mistakes, one season our insect netting had holes in it and we hadn’t noticed before installing them on the summer squash. Unfortunately, cucumber beetles found the holes and killed off 1/5 of our zucchinis prematurely in one garden bloc. To add a cherry on top of this misfortune, we managed to spread the infestation into another garden through harvesting. This ultimately caused even more damage to our harvests. Needless to say, inspect your net prior to installing them to make sure they are in good shape!

Prevent with Insect Netting

Insect netting is used on a variety of vegetables, but it is notably used on brassica veggies. / Credit : Olivier Bourget
Insect netting is used on a variety of vegetables, but it is notably used on brassica veggies. / Credit : Olivier Bourget

Insect netting is used on a variety of vegetables, but it notably used on brassica veggies such as cauliflower. Cauliflower is a market golden egg. It is a star that reliably attracts customers to your stall. To grow cauliflower successfully, you need to cover it with insect nettings from the moment it’s transplanted until the netting is no longer large enough to cover it. These nets protect the cauliflower from slugs, white and gray worms and the cabbage white butterfly. Once the netting is removed, it then becomes the grower’s responsibility to do weekly inspections to make sure that there are no infestations, and if there are, to plan interventions.

Insect netting is a weight off your shoulders that your crops are being safeguarded. The installation is far less time-consuming than any other pest intervention you might need to do.

Financial Perks

The use of insect nets rather than biopesticides is the most cost-effective option. The nets can be used multiple times over the course of the season and for many seasons. As for most things, the higher quality more expensive nets will last longer and are worth the initial investment. To ensure their longevity over time, they must be stored properly. Roll insect netting over itself and store it away from rodents and the elements.

Using insect netting rather than biopesticides is still the more financially wise option. / Credit : Alex Chabot
Using insect netting rather than biopesticides is still the more financially wise option. / Credit : Alex Chabot

Recommended Insect Nets Models

Dubois Agrinovation is a supplier of insect nets established in North America. They have models of different widths, lengths, and mesh sizes. We suggest the ProtekNet 25g net, because it blocks most pests, in addition to letting air, water, and light through. The disadvantage is that it is less durable and requires more care in handling. The other net we recommend is the ProtekNet 47g since it can last 5 to 7 seasons. However, it is more expensive.

When choosing the size of your nets, remember to take into account the number of beds you want to cover. Narrower nets offer more flexibility, while wider nets are more efficient to install and require fewer sandbags to secure them in place. Widths should be slightly larger than the number of beds to be covered, as there will be hoops under the net in many cases. For the length, just take the length that will allow you to make the number of nets you need. Note that the net should exceed your beds by about 7-8 ft (2.1-2.4 m) so that the net will easily cover your beds.

To help you choose the right net for your needs, Dubois Agrinovation proposes a chart detailing the different net models and their characteristics

In this video, JM Fortier presents different insect netting models he uses on the farm

More Strategies for Successful Harvests

If you need more resources or to have access to the technical ins and outs of over 35 crops in bio-intensive gardening, please join us at the Market Gardener Masterclass. The Masterclass documents all of our tried and true work methods that will guarantee consistent results and optimize your precious time. 

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