Row Covers: The No-Spray Way to Protect Plants

Lightweight fabric row covers are an easy way to protect your crops from insects and critters, and extend the season.

row cover
Row covers work great to protect your crops from a wide variety of pests, including: cabbageworms, flea beetles, squash bugs, potato beetles, root maggots, leaf miners, cucumber beetles, army worms, grasshoppers, squash vine borers, deer, rabbits and birds.
Illustration by Elayne Sears
Woman Installing Row Covers
The best edge-anchoring plan involves attaching the row cover’s long edges to bamboo poles, straight saplings or pieces of 2-by-2 lumber. Use a stapler to make the hems and then slide in the poles. This makes it easy to lift the covers off for weeding and to allow pollination.  
Illustration by Elayne Sears
broccoli row covers
In late summer when fall broccoli faces a formidable lineup of insect pests, tulle will keep them off of seedlings without retaining heat.
Photo by Barbara Pleasant
blackberry row covers
Robins and many other birds love black raspberries, but bird netting is hard to use with brambles because it gets stuck in the thorns. Tulle sticks some, too, but not nearly as badly as bird netting.
Photo by Barbara Pleasant
tulle cover
Ripening fruit is a tempting treat for birds and squirrels. You can prevent losses by covering your tree with a layer of tulle netting, gathering and securing it around the trunk of the tree.
Illustration by Elayne Sears
garden row cover
Grasshoppers would have demolished these pretty greens if they could have gotten to them. But with tulle, they're standing strong in September.
Photo by Barbara Pleasant
tulle row cover
These lucky cucumbers never knew the presence of single cucumber beetle.
Photo by Barbara Pleasant

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