Grow netting is the natural support for the most popular vegetables. The solanaceae family includes many species of plants and climbing shrubs. Indeed among the solanaceae are some of the very popular vegetable plants such tomatoes, peppers and hot peppers. Most of them originate in Central and South America. Only eggplants are of Asian origin.
Solanaceae are plants that love the light. For this reason they must be positioned to direct sunlight, in the brightest possible position that favors the berries coloration. For this purpose grow netting is the useful technique to secure homogenous solar exposure. In fact the regular meshes of the net facilitate the proper distribution of the branches and the fruits. Also solanaceae need air so it is recommended to ensure a good ventilation. Grow netting permits a constant air circulation, because the vegetative mass develops according to the structure and does not collapse trapping the humidity.
Grow netting reduces fungal diseases.
Many fungal diseases that cause irreparable damage to the crops are due to excess of moisture. Thanks to grow netting, diseases are strongly reduced because plants are raised over the tutoring structure, far from the soil.
One common fungal disease that affects tomatoes and it is caused by humidity is the the Peronospora. It is possible to recognize it by the yellowing of leaves. Later they turn out brownish and the mycosis is transmitted to the stem and fruits. Spots in concentric circles appear on the fruits.
Grow netting makes disinfestations more comfortable for the workers and more efficient. Actually it helps to save money in reducing the numbers of spraying and the time needed to disinfect.
Grow netting diminishes the risk of virus.
Crops can suffer of several viruses. The most common and damaging in tomatoes cultivations are: TSWV – Tomato spotted wilt virus, CMV – Cucumber mosaic virus, TYLCV – Tomato yellow leaf curl virus, ToMV – Tomato mosaic virus.
TSWV – Tomato spotted wilt virus
It is the most damaging virus for the tomato. It induces a disease known as spotted wilt or bronzing for coloring assumed by the leaves of the infected plants. It affect crops of economic importance such as pepper, lettuce, eggplant, potato, tobacco, chicory, endive and artichokes.
CMV – Cucumber mosaic virus
Its particularly devastating effect on tomatoes consists in almost total lack of development of leaf tissue. Even the plant size is dramatically reduced, sometimes presenting necrosis. Production losses may vary from 10 to 30%.
There are no commercial tomato varieties resistant to CMV and measures aimed at preventing attacks of aphids have limited effect because of the mode of transmission and the huge number of host species of the virus.
TYLCV – Tomato yellow leaf curl virus
Infected tomato plants show a reduced size. The effects on the production depend on the vegetative growth achieved by the plant at the time of infection. Early infections cause lacking of fruiting, while later infections affect the process of fruiting, with ripen fruits but with lower size than normal and pale colour. In greenhouse crops, the loss of production can reach 70-80%.
ToMV – Tomato mosaic virus.
The symptoms may consist both in deformations and reductions of the leaf blade, with more or less accentuated necrotic manifestations. The fruits are ripening mottled, speckled, necrotic and cracking. The transmission occurs through contact of infected parts during normal cultivation operations (like tutoring or topping). ToMV infections are often found in a protected environment and on a limited number of subjects, frequently contiguous. However in the absence of suitable measures, the infection can quickly spread to the entire greenhouse.
PepMV, Cucumber mosaic virus is an emerging virus, a new viral disease of tomato first identified on cucumbers (Solanum muricatum) in Peru. Quickly, PepMV has spread to many countries in Europe, North America and confirmed its natural pathogenicity on tomatoes.
Viruses are transmitted in a persistent manner by thrips and insects, however, those are not not the only carriers. The hands of the workers can also become mechanical vectors.
Grow netting contributes to viruses prevention. The possibilities of disease control are, in fact, non-existent. The only way to defend the plants and the harvest is limiting the risk of the attacks.
A drier and neater ambient favored by grow netting diminishes insect population and so the rate of infections.
Furthermore grow netting, reducing the need of a frequent manipulation of the plants, also reduces the risk of contamination by the hands of the workers.