This stuff. Floating row cover is incredibly useful in regions where the weather is, at best, a little raunchy, and at worst, downright horrific. Here on the prairies, we commonly face high winds, heat, drought, excessive moisture, hail, and freezing cold…often within a 24 hour period in the middle of July. (I exaggerate, but only slightly). Floating row cover, combined with a hoop tunnel, can be massively helpful when it comes to protecting your plants from all that wackiness. It can also assist in a whole lot of other ways, including as a control for insects (buh-bye, flea beetles!).
One thing to know before you go out and buy floating row cover: Don’t cheap out. Trust me on this. You think, oh I’m saving a few bucks, but you really can tell when you open the package that it is flimsy and a tad shoddy. You set it up at the community garden anyway, and that very night (of course), there is a thunderstorm. It’s not even a severe one. Middling, actually. No hail, either. At any rate, you go in to check on the garden the next morning and your cheap floating row cover is completely ribboned, strips hanging like banners from your hoop tunnel and bits scattered all over the garden, confetti strewn in other garden plots and clinging damply to the fence. So you spend the next half hour trying to find all the pieces of fabric and hoping that the garden leader isn’t going to show up to see what you’ve done. (Worse yet, you’re worried that she has already been and gone and is now drafting you a nasty email).
No, as with most things in life, get the good stuff. In this case, it’s reusable for many, many years.
Do you use floating row cover in your garden? (I know many of you who don’t live on the prairies use it, as well!).