Early this spring, something was eating our young herb plants, and the critter seemed to particularly enjoy sage and mint. At one point, the plants barely had leaves. In order to protect our plants from any large flying insects or animals that may have been eating them, we covered the herbs with a mesh.
First, we placed each end of thin, metal semicircles into the soil of the herb bed so that they formed arches over our plants. Then, we draped the mesh over the metal semicircles, and tied the mesh tightly at each corner of the bed. We tucked the knots inward so they would not come undone.
The mesh was covered in enough small holes to allow sunlight and water to pass through. In fact, we were able to keep the hose outside the mesh when watering. Although, in order to keep water off the leaves, it was better to temporarily lift up a corner of the mesh.
Using the mesh saved our herbs. The leaves grew back within days, and we were able to take the mesh off once the plants had become larger without the plants being eaten away again.