Floating Row Cover

Definition - What does Floating Row Cover mean?

A floating row cover, also called garden fabric or garden netting, is a sheet of fabric used to cover plants to protect them from cold temperatures and insects, while also preventing the prospect of overheating.

MaximumYield explains Floating Row Cover

While plants need exposure to the sun (or another light source) for healthy growth, too much of a good thing can still be too much. A floating row cover can be used over delicate plants to protect them from heat, cold, and insects.

You’ll find three different weights, or grades, of floating row cover on the market. Summer weight material is the thinnest and lightest. It’s designed to help protect delicate plants from the full heat of the sun, while still allowing up to 70% to 85% of the light to reach growing leaves. It can also keep out insects that would otherwise damage your crops, including June bugs, while still allowing rain or irrigation water to reach the plant.

Quilted material (GardenQuilt® is an example) can be used to provide frost protection for delicate plants grown early or late in the year. It prevents frost damage down to 24 degrees F, and still allows 60% of available sunlight to reach growing leaves.

Finally, shade netting is the ideal solution for delicate plants like lettuce grown in hot weather – lettuce, for instance. It allows 50% of sunlight to reach the leaves, while also blocking UV radiation and heat to prevent plants from bolting to seed during high temperatures.

Floating row fabric can be laid directly over rows if necessary, or it can be used with metal hoops or wooden frames if you prefer something with more structure and stability.

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