No matter how healthy your soil and vigorous your plants, sometimes they need protection from pests and the weather. Whether you’re protecting tender spring or fall seedlings after transplanting from insects and animals or helping your shrub make it through a harsh winter, plant protection is one way a gardener can make a difference.
Plant protection can take on many looks. Here are some materials to help protect your plants.
Floating Row Covers:
Young seedlings, especially those planted in late summer or fall when insect populations have swelled, are more vulnerable to insect and animal attacks. Cover plants with a floating row to keep insects from laying eggs and adults from attacking the plants. This lightweight, spun bonded, polyester fabric lets light, water and air in, but blocks intruders. Different weight row covers provide weather protection as well.
A similar material is micro mesh. You can also use tulle from a fabric store. You can easily look through this material to see your plants. This allows you to check for watering and insects that have has snuck into the bed, without having to open up the cover. However, it doesn’t provide any protection from extreme weather.
You can grow many vegetables, herbs and flowers to maturity under these materials, avoiding the use of sprays. Both materials can be secured to the ground with VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties. Cut small holes in the fabric and loop the ties through the holes and around a pole or thin board that’s weighting the fabric down on the ground.
To protect plants from winter’s cold, use winter weight floating row covers or burlap. Wrap these materials around stakes driven into the ground around the perimeter of your plants to form a cage. Don’t let the material touch the leaves or it will wick away moisture from the foliage.
Check out the Plant Protection gallery below: