As you have been enjoying a leisurely browse around your local garden centre, you may have happened across large rolls of wire mesh for sale. If you have also found yourself wondering, “what on Earth are they for?” then this is the article for you, as we take a closer look at all things mesh.
Types of mesh
The rolls of wire mesh already mentioned are a common sight in all garden and landscape-related retail outlets, but they are by no means the only type of mesh available. Instead of buying it in large rolled single pieces, you can also buy individual welded mesh panels. The benefit of panels is you don’t have to cut them yourself, although on the flipside rolls mean you can cut pieces to any size. Panels can also be made of heavier gauge wire, and are therefore sturdier, because they don’t have to be rolled.
Both rolls and panels often come in PVC-coated and galvanised varieties, which both protect against erosion and add strength.
Another type of wire mesh familiar in gardens is the hexagonal-shaped variety often known as chicken wire or rabbit wire, because of its popularity on chicken coops and rabbit runs. This type of mesh is usually made of a much thinner gauge wire which is twisted/woven into shape together rather than welded, and therefore does not offer the same strength or resilience.
Uses for mesh in your garden
Wondering what you can do with all of this mesh in your garden? Let’s start with one we’ve already mentioned – using mesh on animal enclosures like chicken coops and rabbit hutches. The advantage of light grade options like your typical hexagonal chicken wire is that it is cheap to buy and easy to cut to size for your enclosure. However, if you have any concerns about predators getting at your animals – foxes in particular – or if you are building larger enclosures for dogs, for example, you might want to consider upgrading to the heavier duty options.
As well as keeping your animals safe, mesh can be used to protect plants, too. This is particularly common with berry bushes, and chicken wire makes a great option for keeping birds off your crops.
Mesh makes a handy solution for supporting climbing plants. Buying a roll makes it easy to run a length along a fence, giving you a ready-made support without having to bother with trellises or individual supports for each plant. Mesh can also be used to protect trees, especially young ones, from being nibbled at by livestock. Because of its flexibility, mesh rolls make the best option for this.
Finally, another very common use for mesh in many different garden scenarios is fencing. Rolls of wire mesh or chicken wire are ideal for throwing up quick boundary divisions between different parts of your garden, say if you want to segment areas for growing different crops. With their extra rigidity and strength, mesh panels are ideal for creating small livestock enclosures, for example if you want to turn an area into a place where you can keep a pet goat.