I have a small garden here at Dig My Veg and, as it’s very much a central feature, I like to keep it looking attractive.
I try to use as little plastic as possible too, but when I have to I prefer the use of black items in the garden, as it’s a colour that recedes and projects the colours of the plants to the fore. It is common practice for garden gadget designers to opt for green or brown, I guess with their idea that these colours will blend into the greens of leaves and browns of soil… that they will somehow look more ‘natural’. I think in their attempt at camouflage they actually do the opposite.
It isn’t always easy to find everything in a natural material, or in black. One of those things is the micro-mesh that we all need if we are to grow a carrot and parsnip crop free of carrot-fly larvae excavations (yuck!). If you are starting to sow carrots, it’s best to cover them from the start.
Up until recently, I’ve only thought micro-mesh was available in white, which is OK but, like twitchy net curtains, I’ve always found it a bit disconcerting.
I went researching, and found that you can get also get it in red, yellow and blue. But it was great to see that Harrod Horticultural has started selling black micro-mesh! (Tell me if you thing I have I spent too many decades working in the fashion industry, won’t you?!) It is a little more expensive but I took the plunge and bought some. On arrival I found that it had some added advantages, beyond fashion, over the white stuff:
- Weightless! The extruded plastic is much finer, and the black mesh rests more gently on the plants.
- Transparent! Unlike the thicker white, and maybe because it optically recedes as a colour, you can actually see the plants beneath the black micro-mesh really clearly. This saves having to take it off to see if any weeding needs doing, or if the plants need attention or picking.
- Better behaved! I find that the cut edges of my old white micro-mesh frayed quite badly and looked messy. It was also very ‘bouncy’ and took several heavy objects to weigh it down, especially at the corners where excess mesh needs bundling up. The black stuff is more drape-y, and a few bulldog clips hold it neatly in place.
A bit like comparing a fine denier stocking to a pair of “Nora Batty“s, which will be sure to get your neighbours’ nets twitching!