[NAFEX] Screen Enclosures - the war against the pests

John S swim_at_svc at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 27 06:54:02 EDT 2008

This year, fruit eating wasps decimated my gooseberry and blueberry harvest.  As a backyard gardener, I do not have that much production available to share.  I routinely screen for birds, but the mesh size of this is large enough to pass the insects that do the damage.  My harvest was probably about 20% of what it could have been.

I am considering changing out the bird net for fiberglass screen, which is easier to use and lasts longer than bird net, but am concerned about light penetration through the screen.  Does anybody have a feel for how significant screen is in shading?  The standard size is a lot more cost effective than the custom meshes and there is also the issue of getting the right mesh size.

I've tried the spun poly barriers, but cannot see through them.  there is also the issue of watering concerns.  Water wets the poly, then runs down the sides.  I had some losses this late summer when some plants did not get enough water due to this uneven distribution and could not see their stress.

I was thinking of trying hoop houses with screen on top for water penetration and poly cloth on the sides for additional light penetration.  Since the poly is not resiliant, it is more difficult to work with and tears easily with handling so side access would not work out well.

Has anybody out there solved this problem ahead of me?


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