Protect Your Growing Garden Veggies With An Easy Shower Mesh Pouf Hack

Keeping pests out of the garden is a full time job. Finding a pest control method that's both effective and affordable can be a challenge at times. However, you can look to the shower aisle in Dollar Tree, Walmart, or online retailers to buy mesh shower poufs and use them to keep bugs off your plants. You can use mesh bags to protect your vegetable garden by covering the produce, but you can use shower poufs the same way.

Shower poufs are inexpensive and can be found in almost any retail store or online, making them a wallet-friendly choice for controlling pests in the garden. Since there is so much material used for one pouf, you can get a lot of mileage out of just one, allowing you to cover several small vegetables or larger ones that many organza bags can't fit, like pumpkins. A word of advice: reusing shower poufs typically isn't a good idea due to the mold and bacteria that can build up. Using a dirty pouf to protect food could cause you to ingest icky germs and become ill, so it's better to buy new ones than reuse those in the garden.

Using shower poufs to keep bugs out

Some gardeners feel that if wildlife is after your plants, you're doing something right. But, that doesn't mean you want them hanging around and stealing what's rightfully yours. Many people use row covers as physical barriers to protect their zucchini plants from common pests, as well as tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables. You can use shower poufs as an alternative. Row covers go over the entire plant, while shower poufs only go over the fruit or the branch holding the fruit. This method allows the plant to receive all the sunlight it needs and grow tall without any restrictions. If you have limited time and resources, it's much easier to cover individual fruits rather than setting up a row cover system that requires you to move hoops every time you harvest.

To turn shower poufs into helpful pest prevention, remove the string that functions as a handle and cut the piece that holds the entire pouf together. You should be able to unravel the pouf and reveal a long mesh tube. Cut the tube into several pieces that will fit your fruit. For plants that grow large fruit, err on the side of too much mesh rather than too little. Place the mesh around your plant after the fruit has developed, and secure the ends with zip ties or twine. Keep the bag on the plant until you're ready to harvest to keep insects, caterpillars, birds, and other mammals from eating your food.

Drawbacks of using shower poufs

The shower pouf method can't fix every problem, but it will largely depend on the size of the mesh. Insect-proof mesh is ideal to repel tiny insects like aphids and whiteflies, and many poufs don't come with mesh that's small enough to keep these critters out. Small mesh should be sufficient enough to keep larger pests out, like caterpillars and beetles, and any shower pouf will help with mammals like rodents or deer. Adjust the mesh cover around the fruit rather than directly on it, so if pests land on the pouf mesh, they won't be able to eat the fruit through it. If you can't get the pouf to keep out your troublesome pests, tulle is a great alternative that happens to be a viral gardening hack for pest control.

Another drawback is that they aren't an environmentally friendly gardening solution. Synthetic poufs are usually made of plastic. Though you can reuse them, when they get to the point that they're unusable, you won't be able to compost them. They may also inadvertently harm animals you want to keep around; small bird or rodent feet could get caught in them if they touch the ground.