The use of espalier net to improve crop production
Espalier net is used to help train crops to grow in a specific direction. This netting comes in a large roll of mesh that is placed along the rows of a garden. It is usually installed using stakes to help keep the mesh standing as it encourages the plants to grow upward. For many types of fruits, the use of this netting helps to improve crop production, while not having to increase the amount of space necessary to grow them. But training plants also can be beneficial for growing vegetable plants as well, like tomatoes and beans which often benefit from a little more support and room to grow in tighter spaces. But there is also many other benefits to crops as a result of using espalier net to help train plants. Some of these benefits as well as other tools that can help to increase crop production are discussed below.
Benefits of Training Vegetables
By training the plant to grow along the netting, it also helps to increase the flow of air around the plant. This added circulation from using espalier net makes it possible for the plant to be healthier and less likely to have some of the problems associated with ground lying plants. It also may mean there is less of a need to use sprays on plants as a result of the improved circulation and less of the plant being in contact with the ground. The elevation of the plants also makes it possible for the grower to see the potential problems with plants more easily. As a result, preventative action can be taken before a problem ruins the entire crop. Another reason is that trained vegetables may need less spraying to stay healthy. A final benefit of training crops includes the ability to harvest more crops in less amount of time. While there are more crops produced in less space, the time to make the way down a row actually is less than ground lying plants.
Espalier Net is not the Only Tool
Like the use of netting to train plants, there are also other tools that can help a grower to see increases in their crop production. For instance, the use of weed fabric can also help to further increase crop production. This is also commonly called landscaping fabric. Besides helping to reduce the number of weeds that can rob plants’ vital nutrients and moisture; the use of this fabric benefits crops in a number of other ways. This weed barrier also helps to maintain the moisture level of soil, helping to improve irrigation and filtration to the plants and improving crop yields. It also helps to stabilize the soil and helps to keep it from being eroded away, making it possible to provide essential nutrients to the plant’s roots. Lastly, the use of landscaping fabric helps to further reinforce and protect the plant at the ground level, similar to how espalier net is able to support and protect the plant above ground.
Protect the Plant from Above
With smaller gardens, even the presence of a small number of birds can be frustrating and detrimental to crop yields. With larger areas of crop, it is even more difficult to deter these pests from nesting in the plants or feasting on crops. In both settings, the use of aviary netting can help to significantly reduce the amount of access of birds to plants and their crops. This type of netting is often seen hovering over the top of fruit trees in orchards and grapevines in vineyards, but are also beneficial in a large number of settings to help protect crops. The spaces in the netting are wide enough to allow for sunlight to reach the plants and encourage proper growth. In settings where bees are helpful in pollinating plants, the spaces also permit bees to access crops freely. However, the size of the spaces is small enough to discourage birds from having free access to the plants and protects them from potential damage they might cause to the plants.
Many of these different landscaping fabrics and mesh are not only very affordable, but are also durable. Not only do they help to increase exposure to the sun, but it can help to reduce issues with irrigation and runoff, helping to create an overall better environment for the growth of the plant. They also reduce the amount of chemicals needed to be sprayed on the plants, which is an added cost savings for the grower each year. Higher crop yields also make it possible for the grower to see greater income potential on their crop, and even for the hobby gardener the increase in crops helps to reduce the household produce budget. Lastly, when handled with care, many of these fabrics, like bird mesh, are able to be reused multiple seasons, reducing the financial investment necessary to use these measures over time.
Use Netting and Fabrics to Increase Your Crops
Whether farming professionally or as a hobby gardener, there are a number of different factors that can come into play in the crop yield numbers each year. Some of these factors are entirely out of the growers’ control, like the climate. However, there are a number of different aspects that can be controlled entirely by the grower. By choosing to train plant growth using espalier net, the grower is able to have more control over their crops and see a better yield. Likewise, the use of a fabric weed barrier also helps to reduce pesky weeds from overwhelming plants, and reduce the need to remove weeds from the rows of plants, thereby further improving crop production. Lastly, the use of bird mesh to help prevent birds from harming or harvesting crops prematurely will also help to ensure the quantity and quality of the crop is better. All of these tools help to protect the investment and dedication of time put into growing plants.