Thursday, May 5, 2016

Row Covers and Garden Tunnels for Plant Protection

Extend your gardening season and protect your plants from frost, wind and insect damage!  

Guest Author:  Mark Greene

Floating Row Covers

Floating Row Covers protect plants against frost, excessive wind and insects. To choose the right row cover weight for your crops it's necessary to also consider light transmission. For example, a 1 oz./sq.yd. cover provides more protection than a lighter weight cover, but does not allow as much light through to the plants. Choose from three different weights, ranging from a 0.5 oz. to 1.25 oz. to provide your crops both protection and adequate light for healthy growth. For general use, we recommend a 0.5 oz. weight for moderate frost protection and 85% light transmission. Cover individual rows with 6' wide floating row covers or quickly cover larger gardens with 25' x 25" blankets. 

 Easy Fleece Jacket for Plant Protection 
If you are looking to cover individual plants in containers or hanging baskets, Easy Fleece Jackets do the trick. These thick 1.25 oz. polypropylene jackets feature a built in drawstring for easy closure and securing around plants and containers. Jackets are available in three sizes: small 26.5" W x 31.5" H, medium 31.5" W x 39" H, and large 47" W x 70" H.

Garden Tunnels for Plant Protection Gardeners love using Garden Tunnels to provide a simple way to extend the growing season while protecting plants from frost, wind chill, and garden pests. These allow you to plant up to two weeks earlier and in tests, this garden tunnel has been shown to keep growing vegetation up to 25°F warmer than outside temperatures. Here in Rochester NY, we have used them to grow lettuce into December, even after 12" of snow! Easy Fleece Tunnels combine wire hoops with row cover material are easy to install tunnels can even protect tall plants like tomatoes and peppers.

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