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Barbara Pleasant: Row Covers

Cucumber beetles are too big to get through tulle netting, so it makes an ideal floating row cover for cucumbers. 
Mache (lambs lettuce) sails through my Zone 6 winters beneath a row cover tunnel.
They may look trashy, but row covers can add a month to the growing season in spring.
One of the advantages of tulle netting over regular row cover is that you can see through it. The watermelon seedlings loved it.

Tulle netting over broccoli seedlings set out in summer for fall harvest.
Tulle is great for protecting ripe berries from birds, because it doesn't tangle with the thorns like bird netting does. Tulle doesn't trap hummingbirds, either.

When I know that bad weather conditions or a certain pest  threaten my garden, I let various breathable fabrics serve as barriers between my plants and the outside world. 

In summer when insects and deer are my main worries, I use lightweight tulle netting (also called wedding net) as well as some row covers I made from thrift store sheer curtains (only $2 each!). 

In spring and fall when low temps or harsh wind mess with my plants, I use regular spunbound floating row cover, because it's tougher stuff. 

Working like a floating row cover, light pink tulle protected these eggplant from flea beetles all summer long.
row covers in vegetable garden
May 4: The garden came through the last frost undamaged thanks to myriad ghostly row covers.

Sewing vegetable garden row covers and cloches, by machine or by hand, is covered on this page. Pictures are often so much better than words!

Also see Bagging Apples with Tulle.

More Pleasant Reading On Row Covers


At Mother Earth News:

The No-Spray Way to Protect Plants

At GrowVeg.com

The Mess of Protecting Plants from Stress

row cover over potatoes and cucumber
A row cover tunnel excludes pests from late potatoes and cucumbers
By sewing two pieces of tulle netting together lengthwise, I made a row cover big enough to fit over a metal tunnel frame. Take note: When leaves start pushing against the row cover, grasshoppers will start eating their way through it.
Row covers are essential to getting a spring crop of cabbage and broccoli, which would never survive our spring wind storms without protection. Weeds grow abundantly beneath row covers, too.