Protect Your Crops with Weed Fabric

Make Use of Weed Fabric to Reduce Negative Effects from Weeds, Birds, and Insects

The recommendation is to use weed fabric to protect plants against weeds, birds, and insects. This barrier reduces the number of weeds as well as protecting the plants against birds and insects. It will increase crop production since birds and insects will not be able to consume the fruit and leaves. Besides, the weeds will neither choke out the small plants you are nurturing nor will the weeds rob your garden crop of nutrition and water in the soil.

The bird and insect barrier is very valuable since these pests tend to destroy the fruit by pecking holes or eating the leaves across a broad swath of the land. This unsightly damage will make the fruit unsellable.

The weed fabric prohibits the growth of weeds due to the loss of light, but it does not interfere with ground transpiration. There are two types of the barrier, plastic, and fabric. Both kinds have both benefits and disadvantages. As a result, they are used for different purposes.

Weed fabric
Weed cloth is a good option because it helps protect your plants from pests, birds and weeds.

Comparison of Plastic and Material Weed Fabric

Moisture Control

Plastic weed fabric is less permeable and is therefore excellent to use in the dry season to retain moisture in the soil. But it does not prevent the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. It will smother the weeds and due to its dark color, it warms the soil in the spring. However in the wet season is it more prone to the growth of fungus and other diseases.


The weed fabric lasts much longer than the plastic variety as it is usually treated to resist the damages caused by sun. It can last for years. On the other hand, the black plastic weed barrier can break down when exposed to sunlight or heat. If it is appropriately 

stored during the non-growing season, the plastic weed barrier will last longer.

Weed Growth

The black plastic barrier is superior in killing or suppressing weeds. The weed fabric needs to be combined with organic mulch to be an effective weed suppressant. But it is not useful when paired with other mulches.

Weed fabric installed in a nursery
The advantage of acquiring weed fabric is that it can regulate weed growth, regulate humidity and is very durable.

Insect Barrier

Insect barrier is made of fragile fabric, usually white in color. Use of the insect barrier will lead to the reduction in the use of insecticides and pesticides. Consumers appreciate vegetables and fruit that have no chemicals on them. It will be healthier for you and your workers as well. Even though you cover the crop entirely, it allows 85% of the sunlight to reach the plants. To keep insects away, the plant must be covered everywhere, and the edges need to be secured to the ground. You can pull up the covering for pollination and weeding.

There are many positive aspects of this product. There is a higher productivity because the plant is protected. The amount of heat is still quite high. Eventually, if this netting is used over several seasons the number of insects will be reduced. With the decreased number of insects coming into contact with the plant there will be a reduction in a number of diseases the insects carry. If the net is stored correctly it can be reused for years.

SCROG netting
One of the advantages of the barrier against insects is that it reduces the use of chemical products in plants.

Installing Insect Barrier

Since insect netting is very thin fabric, care must be taken not to make any holes in the barrier during installation. Start with the preparations of the soil that you would do normally while fertilize and seed the area. This should be accomplished before you expect insects to infest the area. Cover the entire area with the insect barrier but leave considerable space for the plants to grow. Lay sandbags along the edges to completely seal the area or use U shaped pins to secure the net to the earth. The cover can be removed to tend to the plants and then replaced again. When the need for the protection is over, carefully roll up the netting and store to be used at a later date. Store in a dry well ventilated area. 

Plants with SCROG netting
Care must be taken not to pierce the insect net when it is installed as insects will infest the affected area.

Bird Barrier Netting

This netting can be used to prevent birds from destroying the crops. It can be used with large and small birds, depending on what birds are in your area. It consists of an open weave of polyethylene diamond shaped holes. This material will last a long time (up to 7 years) because it is highly resistant to UV degradation. It is also flame resistant, and it will not absorb moisture so it will not rot. If it is to be installed near residential areas, since the black netting is almost invisible to see, it is not an eyesore. One bonus is that the netting will not harm the birds.

Weed fabric and SCROG netting
The mesh does not only work with insects, it also protects your plants from small birds and large birds.

Installation of Bird Netting

Decide where the netting needs to be installed and clear a space for the foot of the net. You can erect wooden poles along the sides of your garden. Since the netting is fairly light, the poles can be spaced widely apart. Start with the roof. You can string cable through the holes of the mesh to support the roof and attach the cable to the wooden poles that will be holding the sides of the enclosure.  For the sides, attach the net to the ground with U shaped wire pegs. Stretch the net to the poles and use a zip tie or a staple gun to connect the net to the poles. Since it comes in 7 foot high rolls, you should have enough to cover most tall crops. Where the end of one roll finishes and you need to start another roll, overlap an area of about a foot and zip tie the two ends together. These are only suggestions as the netting is very light and there might be more convenient ways to install the mesh for your application. 

By using weed fabric, bird barrier and insect barrier, you will increase you production. Very shortly you will recoup this cost when you harvest and sell the fruits and vegetables.