[Market-farming] Re: Row cover hoops

Lucy Goodman goodows at infinet.com
Mon Jan 27 06:30:53 EST 2003

Personally, since I learned how to use row covers (remember this is a
learned art) I have found hoops to produce much higher quality leafy
greens and other crops than letting the covers sit right on top of the
plants. I have also found covers laid flat on the plants will in high
winds come off and in the process will drag the rocks or bricks used to
anchor them over the plants. If you anchor by burying the edges this
won't happen but you will rot the edges of the covers sooner and it is
harder to dig and rebury a cover properly than to replace rocks.

the big key to keeping the cover on in 20 to 25 mph winds is making sure
you have enough material to anchor the ends and sides (rocks every 12"
or less depending how heavy the winds are) and that the covers are put
on TIGHTLY. One person can get them tight but it is much easier and
effective to have two people do this.

We use the double hoop method in spring and fall when the winds are
heaviest and this works pretty well. We do a simpler method than Pam's
we use an inner hoop pushed into the ground and than an outer hoop that
is also pushed into the ground. If you have lots of hoeing and
harvesting to do the double hoops can be a real pain as the outer hoops
have to come off so you can get the covers all the way off.

Bought a 25' ziphouse last year. Hated it. it would not close all the
way at the top nor open all the way so you can get at the plants. It's a
great sounding idea that needs more work. It took about 20 minutes to
set up the 25' piece (about 5x the time to set up hoops and row cover of
the same length, and we didn't have to go looking for rocks for -the
most time consuming part of setting up a rowcover on a bed for the first
time). I'd hate to think what several thousand feet of it would take, timewise.

Lucy Goodman
New Paris, OH
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