Daily gardening tips: Use floating row covers to protect plants from pests and harsh weather

Gardening can be a rewarding and fulfilling hobby, but it often comes with its fair share of challenges

Daily gardening tips: Use floating row covers to protect plants from pests and harsh weather

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Gardening can be a rewarding and fulfilling hobby, but it often comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the biggest challenges faced by gardeners is protecting their plants from pesky pests and harsh weather conditions. However, there is a simple and effective solution that can help overcome these obstacles – the use of floating row covers. In this article, we will explore what floating row covers are, why they are beneficial, and how to use them to safeguard your plants.

What are Floating Row Covers?

Floating row covers, also known as plant blankets or garden fabric, are lightweight materials that act as a protective barrier over plants. They are made from translucent, porous fabric that allows sunlight, air, and water to reach the plants while creating a physical barrier against pests and harsh environmental conditions.

Benefits of Using Floating Row Covers

Floating row covers offer several advantages for gardeners:

1. Pest Protection

Floating row covers form an effective protective shield against common garden pests such as aphids, cabbage worms, flea beetles, and other insects. The fine mesh of the fabric prevents them from reaching your plants, reducing the need for chemical pesticides and promoting organic gardening practices.

2. Temperature Regulation

These covers act as insulators, providing a layer of protection from extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. During colder months, they help trap some of the heat generated by the soil, keeping your plants warm and sheltered from frost damage. In the summer, row covers can offer shade and lower the temperature, preventing scorching and sunburn.

3. Wind and Storm Protection

Strong winds and heavy storms can wreak havoc on delicate plants, causing physical damage or uprooting them altogether. Floating row covers create a shield against strong winds, reducing the risk of windburn or broken stems. Additionally, they help prevent soil erosion during heavy rainfall by holding the soil in place.

4. Improved Plant Growth

The microclimate created by floating row covers mimics a greenhouse effect, promoting faster and healthier plant growth. The covers create a controlled environment that retains moisture and heat, leading to accelerated germination, increased plant spread, and earlier harvests.

5. Weed Control

Floating row covers provide a barrier against weed seeds and prevent them from reaching the soil. By blocking their access to sunlight, these covers help reduce weed growth and the need for manual weeding, saving you time and effort in maintaining your garden.

Using Floating Row Covers Effectively

1. Choosing the Right Fabric

When selecting a floating row cover, opt for a lightweight, breathable fabric that allows light and moisture to permeate through. Look for UV-stabilized fabric to ensure its durability under prolonged sun exposure. Avoid covering your plants with non-breathable plastic materials that may trap excessive heat or moisture.

2. Proper Installation

Begin by securing your row cover over a framework or support system, such as stakes or arches, to create a canopy-like structure. Ensure that the fabric extends beyond the edges of the plants to prevent pests from access. You can bury the edges of the fabric in the soil or weigh them down with rocks or bricks to keep them in place.

3. Monitoring and Maintenance

Regularly inspect your row covers to check for any signs of damage or pest penetration. Carefully raise the covers to allow for pollination if necessary, especially for crops that heavily rely on pollinators, such as squashes and tomatoes. Water your plants as needed, ensuring the row covers allow proper drainage. Remove the covers once your plants have grown larger or when the weather conditions improve.


Floating row covers provide an excellent solution for protecting your plants from pests and harsh weather conditions. By utilizing these lightweight, versatile covers, gardeners can reduce the reliance on chemical pesticides, regulate temperature, promote healthy plant growth, and simplify maintenance tasks. Experiment with floating row covers in your own garden and enjoy the benefits they bring to your gardening experience!

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