[Editor's Note: I've changed the look of the site. Didn't like the last one--too hard to read. Hope you like this one better. -JM] I hate row covers. Though I'm much obliged for the work that they do. Take that, flea beatles and hoarfrost and hungry hungry hippies. But given how frustrating they are to work with, especially in the wind, I consider them a necessary evil in the garden. And I'm always looking for better ways to anchor the stuff. So, last post (ever so long ago...sorry about that. Things are busy.) I put out a call for tips on anchoring row covers. And got precious little response. Too boring a topic? A bad time of year to expect people to make time for row cover photography? I may never know. But luckily I've been playing with a couple of ideas worth sharing. Plus I did get one submission...
So, below are a few photos featuring anchoring techniques. For the next post I'd like to invite readers to submit photos of the best aspects of their veggie wash/processing stations. Got a good layout? A handy washing or drying technique? A cost-effective design for the grower on a budget? I'd love to share them here. Please consider taking the time...these posts are more interesting when there are lots of ideas to share. firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address.
Now then. One thing I hate about using rocks and sand bags for anchoring is that they require so much bending over when moving them. So I built these simple platforms for holding the rocks:
I realize there's not much exciting about featuring these sandbags as anchors, but I'm featuring them anyway because I just started using them but all I had around the farm were old grocery bags. They'll become torn up pretty quick, though, and I'm wondering if any readers have a better, cost-effective idea for a durable bag for storing the sand. I looked into sand bags but they're a buck nineteen each, and since I would need one for every ten feet of row cover it would get pretty expensive.
This next technique came from Joe Klein at The Homestead Farm in Peachland. He suggests tying small, round stones along the length of the blankets. I was skeptical at first but tried it out and I'm impressed so far.
Next, here's a hooping technique for raising your blankets over tall crops:
You can learn more about building hoop systems, including the clothespins, in this previous post about Herrick Kimball's Whizbang row-tunnel system.
Here is one last anchoring technique I may as well share:
Got ideas for how to improve on these ideas, or on other techniques for anchoring row covers?