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Find the Right Floating Row Cover for Your Garden

By on March 26, 2011

Tricia protects transplanted seedlings with some Agribon row cover.

Row covers solve a multitude of gardening problems.

Made of lightweight fabric, they allow sunlight, air, and water to pass through to your plants.

Well known as “season extenders” to keep plants warm, row covers can also protect plants from insects, and even from too-strong sun in the summertime.

In our video about frost protection and direct seed sowing and our video on Planting Vegetables, Tricia uses Agribon row covers for warmth on newly planted seeds and transplants.

Floating row covers come in a range of weights and last for many seasons. From warmest to coolest, let’s see which one suits your needs.

You Choose Based on Your Plants’ Needs

For a cold snap
Gardeners often think of row covers and frost blankets when the weather report warns of a cold snap. That’s the time to use our heavy row covers. Agribon AG-50 row covers and AG-50 frost blankets (1.5 oz. per square yard) let in 50% of the light and give from 6-8°° F of frost protection (down to 24° F). The Agribon AG-70 is the heaviest row cover, providing 8+°F of frost protection.

Keeping you safe at 26 degrees
If the cold won’t drop below 26° F, take advantage of AG-30 row covers. At 0.9 oz. per square yard they give warmth to your plants and transmit 70% of the sunlight. The balancing act is more sunlight, slightly less warmth.

It’s a bug’s life
You’re not the only one cruising around in your garden. Those critters with six legs are also keen on a garden tour. Did you ever think of row covers as insect control? They work!

The fabric is a shield against flying insects like thrips, aphids, and beetles. Our most popular weight (.55 oz. per square yard) in row covers is the Agribon AG-19. It gives some frost protection (down to 28° F), transmits 85% of the sunlight, and functions as a pest barrier too.

The University of California Integrated Pest Management program suggests placing row covers over seedlings so that insects cannot lay eggs on them.

No frost trouble, but please bug off
Frost not an issue for you? If you want maximum light transmission (90%) and no added warmth, choose AG-15. Leave this lightweight (.45 oz per square yard) fabric on all growing season.

Hoop It Up

Floating row covers got their name from being light enough to lie on top of plants without damaging them. Farmers and gardeners also use them with hoops as a rigid framework to hold up the row covers. This can provide snow protection for plants too. We have all the fittings and clamps you need to build hoops and snap the row covers down at the base of the hoops.

How did you ever garden or farm without these marvelous row covers? Protect your plants now!

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