21 May 2008

Stay away bugs

Last year the cabbage worms made a mess of our brassicas. This year we made row covers. Since the brassica family produces without the assistance of pollinators, it is safe to keep them covered with a material that will only let in light, wind, and rain. We're using agribon.

The construction couldn't have been easier. We purchased one-foot sections of rebar and hammered them in around the perimeter of the beds in question. We left about three inches or so poking out and these little nubs then acted as anchors for the eventual ribbing for the structure.

The ribs are eight and ten foot lengths of recycled 3/4 inch PVC. Each end of the PVC slips over the rebar forming a frame that looks similar to that of an old covered wagon.

We couldn't find agribon wide enough to span the width of the beds with the ribs so we fastened two lengths together with clothes pins. After draping them over the ribs we weighed down the edges with strategically placed rocks. The whole shebang cost about $25. All that's left to do is keep our fingers crossed that no other mysterious pests materialize.


Twinville said...

That contraption is very cool! Thanks for showing how you put it up, too.

Good luck with the bugs!

Anonymous said...

Low tunnels are great! Watch for flea beetles. They emerge from the soil. If they're there they'll be trapped under the Agribon.

Anonymous said...

That setup is exactly the same setup we've used for years to create 1) a season-extending plastic covered hoop house, 2) floating row cover warmup for peppers (with some heavier agribon), and 3) put some shade cloth over it for salad greens. But you found recycled pipe!

Anonymous said...

Yes! This ought to do it! Please keep us apprised as to the flea beetles. I'd always assumed they arrived from the sky, since I'd heard that row cover protected crops from their assaults. Now I want to know more!

Kelly said...

Good morning everyone,
Thanks for the comments. So far we do not have flea beetles. Hopefully it stays that way. We definitely will take your advice Ali and swap covers to increase the versatility of our garden. Thanks.

Razor Family Farms said...

Money well-spent! We love our row covers and without them -- organic gardening in Georgia would be impossible.

Blessings to you!