The Decorative Bag Hack That Protects Home-Grown Vegetables From Being Eaten

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When growing fruit or vegetables there are several things to watch out for that will affect the outcome of your crop. From identifying and treating diseases to keeping critters away from your garden produce, you will need to employ a range of tactics. While you could opt for chemicals and pesticides, these can be toxic and expensive. Maybe you've also used a plant cover, but this material can blow off in windy conditions. While a fence would keep out larger animals, it won't protect your produce from birds or insects. One clever hack is to use mesh drawstring bags. These can be put over growing vegetables and fruits to keep bugs, birds, and other animals from eating them.

A huge benefit of this method is that mesh bags are relatively inexpensive — under $7 on Amazon for 100 — further, they won't fall off or blow away, and they can be reused over and over again, meaning that they're great for the environment. In addition, because they're made out of mesh, you can water your plants right through the bags, making them very convenient. 

Mesh bags are versatile

To use the mesh bags correctly, only place them over your produce once it starts growing, otherwise, you may end up with incomplete pollination and your vegies won't grow properly. Those who grow vegetables on a trellis may also find these mesh bags useful – green beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash can all be grown vertically — so, placing mesh bags over them will save any produce that drops before harvest, preventing it from falling to the ground and getting ruined.

Another great use for these bags is to collect seeds for next season. To do so, simply place the bags over your flowers and pull the drawstrings closed, which will contain all the seeds in one place while they dry out. This is a more effective method than collecting the seeds in your hand or an open container, as they can easily blow away in the wind. However, make sure you only do this after the petals have dropped from the flower because the plant won't go to seed if it still needs to be pollinated.

Do mesh bags really work?

On Kia Jade's TikTok, which showcases the usefulness of mesh bags, many comments revealed how this product has either worked or not worked for them. Most agreed that the bags are ideal for gathering seeds, however, when it comes to protecting produce from bugs and animals, there were mixed opinions. One user commented on the video, saying "For the critters, they just ate through them for me, lol."

Some also say that, while the mesh bags will keep away certain animals, they won't work on others. "Been doing this for years and [it] works great. Only won't stop possums or mice/rats," states one user, while another adds, "These worked so well for our tomatoes and peppers, but the squirrels smashed all the blackberries inside the bags!" You may need to test out this hack for yourself to see if it will work on the types of animals that typically steal from your garden. Further, pets could also be an issue, as one commenter writes, "I tried this, then my dog saw it as a toy and [ate] my one strawberry."