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Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

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Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 5/3/2012, 12:43 am

Should I consider a row cover now or
later for protection against bugs? I'm going to plant one of my boxes
tomorrow and if necessary, I will make a row cover over the weekend.
Or
is a row cover only necessary when there is a problem with bugs? I read
about bugs that are particularly fond of cabbages, collard greens,
broccoli raab, etc.
Most of those types of plant are growing close
enough together that I can just put one row cover over the whole bunch
rather than a couple of row covers scattered about the box.

I'm so close to finally planting my boxes that I've planned months for....I just forgot about this row cover business. What a Face

Or should I look at something like neem oil or insecticidal soap instead of row covers?
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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  Turan on 5/3/2012, 12:46 am

Floating row covers do a fine job helping plants get a start. Often seed will sprout more quickly under them and transplants do better as well. They sort of protect from extremes. A thin sheet will do fine. QuiltBeas wire hangers to help the material float is nice but not crucial if they are thin enough.

Exiting times ahead! Are you planting hte tomatoes yet or is that the following week? Do you use things like wall o waters where you are?

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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 5/3/2012, 1:00 am

@Turan wrote:Floating row covers do a fine job helping plants get a start. Often seed will sprout more quickly under them and transplants do better as well. They sort of protect from extremes. A thin sheet will do fine. QuiltBeas wire hangers to help the material float is nice but not crucial if they are thin enough.

Exiting times ahead! Are you planting hte tomatoes yet or is that the following week? Do you use things like wall o waters where you are?

I'm planting the tomatoes and peppers in about 2 weeks. It just depends on the weather. I thought about wall-o-waters but never gave them serious consideration.

I'm guessing that it's not absolutely critical to get floating row covers on the day I plant everything. I won't get around to shopping around for them until early next week.

And yes...exciting times are ahead! What a Face I had a blast yesterday buying my transplants.
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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  quiltbea on 5/3/2012, 8:54 am

I use floating row covers for two things; putting over newly-transplanted seedlings to protect from too much sunlight or wind when just transplanted, but only for a few days, and then a bit later when I think they need protection from insects. If the plant needs bees or insects for pollination, I remove the covers when blossoms appear so they can get pollinated.

Just remember when you put out your seedlings, protect against cutworms. They'll cut off your new plant at the base. I use 2 or 3 toothpicks, equally spaced around and right against the new planting, buried halfway into the soil. The cutworms can't curl around the plant with the toothpick in the way. Some put a newspaper 'collar' around the base of the plant.
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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 5/3/2012, 9:21 am

@quiltbea wrote:I use floating row covers for two things; putting over newly-transplanted seedlings to protect from too much sunlight or wind when just transplanted, but only for a few days, and then a bit later when I think they need protection from insects. If the plant needs bees or insects for pollination, I remove the covers when blossoms appear so they can get pollinated.

Just remember when you put out your seedlings, protect against cutworms. They'll cut off your new plant at the base. I use 2 or 3 toothpicks, equally spaced around and right against the new planting, buried halfway into the soil. The cutworms can't curl around the plant with the toothpick in the way. Some put a newspaper 'collar' around the base of the plant.

I've never had a problem with cutworms. Should I still do the toothpick thing?
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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  quiltbea on 5/3/2012, 11:37 am

@Too Tall.....I never had many cutworms in my home garden, but the occasional one has found a plant before and cut it off. Its always hard to see a plant lying on its side in the dirt. So now I feel preventative measures need apply. Like a good Girl Scout, I'm prepared.

If you don't mind possibly losing one or two that you've babied thru 6 to 8 long weeks of germination and lighting and baby talk (yes, I talk to my seedlings), that's up to you. I never take the chance any more.
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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 5/3/2012, 11:44 am

@quiltbea wrote:@Too Tall.....I never had many cutworms in my home garden, but the occasional one has found a plant before and cut it off. Its always hard to see a plant lying on its side in the dirt. So now I feel preventative measures need apply. Like a good Girl Scout, I'm prepared.

If you don't mind possibly losing one or two that you've babied thru 6 to 8 long weeks of germination and lighting and baby talk (yes, I talk to my seedlings), that's up to you. I never take the chance any more.

Just to be on the safe side, I will take precautions against cutworms. With everything else I have going on right now, I won't get to do that until Saturday or Sunday. I'll have to keep an eye on the garden till then. I just got done filling the beds. I want to take a bit of a break then I'll string up the grids, then seed and plant. What a Face
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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  1airdoc on 5/3/2012, 1:29 pm

This is my first year to use barriers (tulle), and I started using them early because I had some plants that overwintered. I have not put any barriers on my tomatoes, squash, zucchini, or sweet potatoes, however. If you are going to use them, I'd consider putting them up after the plants have a few true leaves on them.
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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  walshevak on 5/3/2012, 6:34 pm

I put my tulle up as soon as I took the plastic down from my hoops. Even before I planted in the new beds. Why? Because it keeps more than bugs out. It also keeps out birds pecking at emerging seedlings and most of the millions of seeds from my river birch tree. Shocked

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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 5/3/2012, 8:13 pm

@walshevak wrote:I put my tulle up as soon as I took the plastic down from my hoops. Even before I planted in the new beds. Why? Because it keeps more than bugs out. It also keeps out birds pecking at emerging seedlings and most of the millions of seeds from my river birch tree. Shocked

Kay

You're telling me that you don't want to grow more birch trees??
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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  walshevak on 5/3/2012, 11:18 pm

They take too many squares. Razz

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Re: Floating Row Covers Now or Later?

Post  1airdoc on 5/8/2012, 9:38 am

Had the same problem with maple "helicopter" seeds - they were particularly abundant this year. I was glad to have the tulle over at least one of my beds before they started to fall. I've been picking sprouts out of the other beds...
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