Fleece problems

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Jim Aplin
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Last seen: 1 week 4 hours ago
Joined: Tuesday, 23 March, 2010 - 11:21
Fleece problems

Throughout the season we grow pak choi, radish, rocket etc in open field but under fleece all the way to harvest. It's the only we've found to get a marketable crop as we have a big flea beetle population.

Every now and then we get holes in it from a deer running it and the pests get in, but even with occasional losses like this, it's profitable. This year a number of holes appeared - at first I blamed the jackdaws who were very busy on the ground at the time; but when I tried to lift it to tidy it up, the remnants of the fleece were falling into pieces.

Every piece of fleece we'd put down started doing this between 3 and 4 weeks of when we put it down; I tried using a different roll in case it was just a duff batch, but it wasn't; it feels perfectly normal strength for fleece when putting it out, but disintegrates after 3 or 4 weeks sunshine. I can only put this down to the product breaking down in sunlight. Our local supplier (BHGS) has told me they used a different supplier to their main one this year (these rolls have a Thermagrow sticker on them).

Does anyone know a good place to get fleece that definitely doesn't do this? Or (probaly a better and more sustainable long term solution) has anyone tried keeping flea beetle out with that horribly expensive wondermesh? Does it work against them? And does it last long enough to justify the cost?

Jim Aplin

Robin W
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Last seen: 1 week 19 hours ago
Joined: Tuesday, 23 March, 2010 - 11:21
Nets against Flea Beetle

We've use Gromax and Crop Solutions in the past and never had the touble you describe but these are ideed extreme conditions we are going through in terms of sunshine hours, heat and complete absence of rainfall for over 5 weeks. Recently only used fleece at the very start or end of the season, using nets instead. Yes 0.6mm nets keep out flea beetle and our existing nets are 4 to 6 years old. However they now need replacing - due partly to deer using them as night-time trampolines.

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