Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Row Covers

I never really new what "floating row covers" were before Kelli went to the "Beginning Market Growers" class. The folks who taught the class all use it as an organic means of insect protection and also for protecting crops from frost.

In the past for some reason every time I heard about row covers I would picture clear plastic. For example, last year I learned about a sweet corn grower in our region who uses row covers for his corn. I had a hard time understanding how someone could possibly cover that much ground with plastic. In my mind the whole logistics of it all, would make it a nearly impossible task. Using plastic for something like that would be a disaster. This particular fellow who grows sweet corn must use quite alot of row cover as well. He sells loads and loads of corn in Rhinelander from the back of his truck.

After learning what
row covers really are, it all finally makes sense. The recommended brand at the class was a product called Reemay .

Territorial Seed Company sells it in 67" x 250' rolls for $77.95 . One description of Reemay says "Floating row cover protects your plants from frost, birds, and insects. So light that plants will lift it as they grow - allows light and water but no bugs through. Lasts many seasons. Great for Cabbage Moths, etc.. No more worms on your vegetables! Excellent frost cover in the fall. Helps extend your growing and ripening season."

At the class they talked about buying it in 4000' rolls which is what we would need this year but, I haven't found a source yet for that large amount. The larger it is the cheaper per foot. For the serious back yard gardener however, 250' should be more than enough I would think. Obviously there are smaller quantities too, if all you have is a couple small beds. They use rocks, dirt or re bar to hold it down so that the wind doesn't pick it up. There's another brand called Agribon described at this site: http://gear.tinyfarmblog.com/agribon-floating-row-cover/ Also they share their experience in using it as well. Some good things to know.

Next time I'll talk about mulch.

Until Next Time


Blogger Lynn Bartlett said...

Hi Russ, Steve was over tonight and showed us photos from your place. It looks great! I miss the fall reds (I lived in WI for a year, down by Chetek). Thanks for the information you are sharing, we need to think of doing some row covers. PS: It would be great if you and your family could attend Prairie Days; we've attended since it first began.

9:16 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Hi Lynn,

Thanks for the comment and you're welcome!

Yes, we all would really like to come out for Prairie Days and are trying to get some help lined up so we can attend. Steve said he was going to send me some more information on it. But, from what he already said it sounds like it would be a great time.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agribon can provide up to 8ยบ +F of freeze and frost protection

10:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home