Plants are susceptible to a number of beetle pests in the garden, such as the Colorado potato beetle. While most plants can withstand minor insect infestations when they are mature, as young plants they must be protected or the beetles can kill the plants. A mesh plant tent prevents beetle damage while still allowing air and sunlight to reach the young plant. Constructing the tent properly prevents it from damaging the plants. The mesh used for plant tents is called garden mesh or spunweb and is available at most garden centers.
Cut a roll of concrete reinforcing wire, resulting in 20-inch lengths that are 2 1/5 feet high and others that are five feet high. Roll these sections into tubes and secure the ends together with lengths of wire twisted around them. Use the shorter length of wire for short plants and the five-foot length for tall plants, such as tomato.
Cut off the bottom horizontal wire on the each tube, leaving the vertical wires in place so they form stakes. Set the tube over the plant and push the protruding wire stakes into the ground to anchor it.
Drape a length of garden mesh over the top of the cage. Make sure the ends of the cloth trail in the soil on all sides.
Weight the bottom of the mesh down with mounded soil or rocks. This prevents wind from blowing it away and limits insect access from under the mesh.