Friday, June 25, 2010

Floating Row Cover

The sun is back and so are the flea beetles.  This picture is of our "good" Kohlrabi, all the others have no leaves left.  It's time to take action.

With more rain in the forecast, our discovery of root maggots and the eventual emergence of the cabbage butterfly, we decided a floating row cover was our best line of defense.  (We'll save the garlic and garlic tea for another time.)  The floating row cover is a very light weight fabric that lets the sun and rain through, but keeps the bugs out.  Ideally, it should be installed when transplanting plants into the garden, before any pests have started their attack.  We're hoping "better late than never" works for us.

The term floating simply refers to the fact that the fabric floats over the plants.  It's light weight enough that it doesn't need any sort of frame.  So, installing a floating row cover is very easy.  Simply unroll the fabric over the plants and weigh down the ends and sides with rocks, bricks, wood, soil or whatever is available.

We had one more step - ensure any existing pests are removed from the plants before covering.  A very important step indeed!   I wonder how many bugs we trapped inside the cover?!

Here's what our cabbage patch looks like now.

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