Row covers are one of the best inventions that has come about since I started gardening. They have solved many of the pest problems that I have fought for years.
Row covers are made from a very light, shear, spun clothe fabric that is laid over the vegetables. They are a very easy way for a home gardener to protect their garden plants.
There are many advantages to using a row cover for your veggies. They protect the entire plant, but also, let in light and rain, so the plants continue to grow normally.
This blanket of fabric protects from insect damage. I like to put the fabric on right after I plant a row of vegetables. There are many different sizes of covers so you can cover a low growing crop or a tall broccoli. Bean beetles used to be a real problem until I started covering them. Now, I can get beautiful beans without damage. Plus, it is about the only way to control flea beetles without spray.
Covers create a mini microclimate for the plants. They keep the ground more moist, protect from the wind and can extend the growing season in the spring and in the fall.
So, how do you use row covers?
You will start by deciding how wide your cover needs to be. Consider the height of the mature plant you are going to cover. A plant like broccoli grows quite tall and takes a lot of material. I use 83 inch wide material for broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, etc. that are tall.
As you can see I protect almost every plant with a protective blanket. I have found that the plants do better with the extra protection and saves me a lot of work.
After, deciding the width of your material figure out how much material you are going to use by estimating the length of your garden rows. You can buy row cover material in, almost, any length you want.
Usually, I will not just run a blanket of material down the full length, because I plant different varieties of vegetables in the same row. So, I will cut the length that I need for each variety.
The cover is held to the ground by rocks, boards, sand bags or garden pins. I just make my own garden pins out of wire and they work fine. You must fasten the material down in some way to keep the wind from blowing it off of the plants and to keep those pesky critters from getting to the plants.
The only thing left to do is to get out your garden catalog and order your garden row covers. You will be amazed at the difference they make in your garden. Gardening is so much easier.
Steve Wisley has been gardening organically for over a quarter of a century. Gardening is a great way to, not only, grow great tasting, healthy, chemical free food that is good for your family, but gardening is reconnecting with your soul. It is getting your hands in the stuff that life is based upon, and it can heal some of hurt you feel inside.
Steve started this blog to guide others in starting and improving their organic garden to produce healthy, nutritious, great tasting food for their family. Pick up your copy of the booklet “6 Easy Common Sense Tips To Ban Bugs From Your Garden Without Chemicals”.