This TikTok gardening hack will protect your fruit and veg from pests – and it's only £4

TikTok's mesh bag gardening hack is a simple way to keep your produce safe from pests

A garden with a raised vegetable border
(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

It seems that TikTok has a hack for everything. Cleaning TikTok hacks have even been rebranded into a whole new category named Cleantok. But the social media platform is just as active when it comes to gardening advice – and we just came across a clever TikTok gardening hack utilising a mesh bag.

You know those little drawstring sheer bags often used for wedding or party favours? You might have some lying around the house. Well the clever gardeners on TikTok have discovered that they are perfect for protecting homegrown vegetables from pests. So if you are learning how to grow fruit and vegetables at home this is the hack to know.

A vegetable garden with garden borders

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

But what does it actually do? Gardening TikTokers use the bags to protect their growing produce - anything from strawberries to peppers - from pests by simply tying the bag around the fruit and veg so that nothing can get to them. And it doesn’t stop there.

Another handy use for these petite sachets you can buy 50 of for £3.99 from Amazon is collecting seeds from spent flowers by enclosing the dying flower in the bag. And that way you won’t waste any precious seeds by letting them drop to the ground. But what do our gardening experts think of this hack? Is it just a fad to them or an approved useful method? 

A garden of flowering plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Mesh bag gardening TikTok hack

As we find ourselves in the midst of springtime, garden pests start to make themselves known more and more. And we’ll do anything to protect our plants and produce from them. Whether it’s putting pot feet on planters to deter slugs or stopping squirrels digging up bulbs by feeding them. Whatever works.

And TikTok content creators like Kia Jade of @kia_urbangardener have come up with a resourceful idea to protect growing fruit and veg by covering them with a mesh bag used for wedding favours. And Kia’s video has been met with a lot of praise and views - over 450,000 of them.

@kia_urbangardener

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And our garden pros approve too as this method is not all that different from using plant netting which usually covers the whole plant unlike this hack and is one of the best plant covers to protect them against pests.

‘Plant protection netting is usually used to protect crops like fruits and plants from pests, which include birds, insects, mice, squirrels, rabbits and domestic pets,’ says Petar Ivanov, gardening and plant expert at Fantastic Gardeners. ‘I'd recommend looking for soft netting for the sides of fruit cages, fencing, or to support climbing plants but generally, mesh bags can serve the same purpose more or less.’

Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench, is a fan too, ‘This is effective for bug protection of the actual veg, and this is often the part of the plant that bugs love the most anyway. I also think it's effective for collecting seeds from flowers, rather than just letting them drop to the floor.’

Steve Chilton portrait
Steve Chilton

Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field. As the director of LeisureBench, an industry-leading garden furniture company, Steve has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. 

A garden with a raised vegetable border

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Potential downsides of the hack

In regards to collecting seeds from spent flowers, Steve warns against covering the flowers too early. ‘I think you really should be careful not to intrude pollinators from getting to the flowers. I wouldn't wrap the flower in the mesh until the flower has finished blooming and has drooped. If you wrap the flower up too early then you stop the pollinators from getting to the flower which will then prevent the flower from actually growing any seeds in the first place.’

Another thing to be aware of is that this material is not specifically made for this purpose so it might not be strong enough to protect your produce from every pest that might come your way.

A vegetable garden border with a watering can

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

And, of course, the mesh bags won’t protect the rest of the plant from any attacks. ‘I'd also be wary that using mesh on the flowers isn't preventing the bugs from getting at the flowers' stems. If the flower stems are destroyed then the flowers won't grow, so it's important to cover all bases,’ Steve points out.

So while we’re all for this hack, it’s important to be aware of some of the potential challenges you might encounter. But hopefully it will keep the pests at bay.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.