The Q&A Archives: Floating Row Cover

Question: What exactly is a floating row cover?

Answer: A floating row cover is simply a large piece of fabric, usually made from spun polyester. It comes in various weights--heavier weights are used to protect plants from late spring and early fall frosts. Lighter weight types are usually used in pest management, to keep insects, birds, etc. from damaging seedlings. The lighter weight row covers essentially "float" on top of the plants--so they don't hinder the plants' growth. (They are usually secured at the edges with soil to keep insects from crawling underneath.) Usually, the covers are removed once the plants are large enough to withstand whatever pest you are protecting them from. (Also, in warm regions they can trap too much heat in the summer.) And you need to remove the covers of insect-pollinated plants as soon as you see flowers--so the bees, etc. can do their work.

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