Floating row cover is made of a light spun polyester fabric, and is used for both frost protection and as a physical barrier against insects.
Row cover is permeable to air and water, and typically transmits about 85% light, depending on the weight of the fabric. We use a LOT of floating row cover in the New Terra Farm market garden; here's why we use it:
I also use row cover on my cold frames; because they are permeable, the frames will not overheat as they would if covered by glass or plastic.
This is a good use for pieces if row cover that are too small for your garden beds. Caution: the row cover will let rain in, so if a heavy rain is predicted cover your cold frames with something impermeable to prevent flooding.
A couple years ago I figured how to grow meslcun (micro salad mixes) with less work. I started the seeds in trays with about 3/4 inch of damp ProMix.
I kept them covered with clear tray lids until they germinated, then put the trays out on pallets in a semi-shady area, and covered them with floating row cover to keep out bugs and falling debris. This worked very well, a bumper crop of salad greens with no weeds or bugs.
I even use scraps of row cover to make my
I put a couple shovels-full of good aged compost in a piece of row
cover, tie it up, and drop in my compost barrel with the water. The row
cover makes a great strainer for the tea.
Here's the system that works for me:
We also use the row cover on beds that we cover with biodegradable film mulch - just remember to put your drip irrigation down before you place the mulch.
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