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The love of row covers!

by | Dec 23, 2012

60 degrees last Tuesday, 29 degrees this morning. Suppose all that wind we have had the past two days blew it in.

Add crazy weather condition swings to the list of why I use row covers.

Row covers provide a layer of protection from such abrupt changes in the weather. In theory it doesn’t seem to provide much protection, however I have seen amazing results first hand.

Under that thin layer of protection that allows air, water and light to pass through the plants thrive so much more than those not covered. I believe it is a combination of benefits with wind protection leading the list.

Wind is more damaging and trying on plants than most folks think.  It dehydrates the foliage at least and then add the relentless swaying action from the wind on an already stressed plant and it is easy to see why wintered over uncovered plants often look so, well sickly.

Using a row cover creates a micro climate under the cover for plants that don’t necessarily suffer from cold, but from all the other conditions that come along with the cold.

We are actually able to push the envelope on wintering over plants that might not otherwise survive our winter conditions by using row cover. Even using two covers on those that might fall victim to our zone 7 southeastern Virginia conditions.

We cover the fall, winter, and very early spring planted hardy annual plants or seeds normally right after planting. We leave the covers on for the winters most brutal months. We uncover once it seems spring is just around the corner. We do some hand weeding, touch-up mulching where needed, net the flowers and wait for spring to explode on the farm.

Row covers makes gardening a much easier task by protecting your plants from the elements. Reap the rewards- use row covers!