Thursday, October 30, 2014

It Works! Row Covers for Worm Free Broccoli

I've written about the use of row covers before but I continue to get questions about it.

Most often...Does it really work?

The answer? Yes!


This year my row was too long to cover it all with row cover. Part of the row was not covered. It was a good test.

And the results of the test?



Savoy cabbage under row cover.



Cabbage without row cover.



Cauliflower under row cover.



Cauliflower without row cover.



After over ten years of using row covers, I'm convinced. As long as I cover the cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower plants as soon as I plant them. The little white butterflies cannot get to the plants to lay their eggs. The result is NO green worms!



Now that the weather is colder and no butterflies are around, I can remove the row cover. One piece is now covering my cold frame to hopefully give us some late lettuce and spinach.


Learn more about types of row covers.

Edit to add: In the link above, I shared a US supplier of the row cover I use. Their website link no longer works so maybe they are not in business. I can't seem to find a US supplier for this type of woven row cover. Here is an Austrailian supplier.  You can find row covers at your local garden center or mail order seed catalog but they are not as sturdy as this kind of row cover and will probably need replaced in a year or two. But they still do a good job in keeping out bugs! If anyone finds a US supplier for the heavier row covers - please let me know!

10 comments :

  1. I decided to not use row covers this year because of a few black widow spiders that got in ours in years past and needless to say my spring cabbage and broccoli looked like yours. I was able to harvest some because I hand picked what seemed like thousands of green worms but still lost a lot. I have heard that if you spray with bt every 10 days it will keep the worms away. And organic farms use it, so I am trying it with my fall broccoli this year. So far so good. Is there anything special about how you made your cold frame or is it just a raised bed in a warm spot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My cold frame is just a raised bed along our garage where I can easily harvest greens in the cold weather.
      Gina

      Delete
  2. This is wonderful! My cabbage never got too big this year with all the baby leaves getting eaten off :( And broccoli worms?! I think I just eat one last night.

    Is the link for the sfgsupply.com product still up to date? Their website is directing me to click on electrical supply more military supply - which area would you recommend? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't look like this link is working. I'm sorry I didn't check it out first. A few months ago it still worked but maybe they are no longer in business. I'll see if I can find another supplier for the kind of row cover that I prefer. Your local garden center may have row covers but most likely they will not be as heavy - but still would work.
      Gina

      Delete
  3. What a terrific idea Gina. Something that has been around for so long, yet it is nice to be reminded :0) be Blessed!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks to you I purchased some of this for our garden. So far after 3 weeks our garden looks fantastic. We only have it on one garden bed at this stage but I think we will be buying more each year. We have lettuce, capsicum ( peppers), and broccoli under cover.
    I love reading your blog but I am very very envious of your bread making skills

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am not able to find the supply company for the row covers. What is the actual site? I clicked on it and it was not able to be found. Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry. I had not checked the link of the company that I purchased the Microclima row cover. There link doesn't seem to be working. Maybe they are no longer in business. I'll see if I can find a different supplier.
      Gina

      Delete
  6. When you posted about row covers before in years past, we found some through Lee Valley I believe. I live in Alberta, Canada, and so I chose this through a local catalogue, although I believe they would ship (or even have centers in) the states. Sorry I don't have a link, but just search Lee Valley. (its a diy, hobbiest, gardening company)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I tried row covers in the past when I had a garden, I also got them from Lee Valley. They are online. However I did not put it on soon enough. I was using it for kale. I will have to try it again when we have a garden again someday. We are hoping to have one when we get to move, right now we cannot have a garden.

    ReplyDelete

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