Dry - Warm - Cool - Pest-free - Productive - Practical ... All Are Possible
INSECT BARRIERS & POLLINATION
Summer-weight insect barrier fabric can prevent or greatly reduce damage done to plants by pesky beetles and hungry, hungry larvae. But pollinators are often insects, too. How, then, does one manage?
PEST-FREE, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE POLLINATORS?
The use of insect barrier row covers was explored on the previous page: Keeping It Pest-Free. But there's more to be said. Some plants don't require pollination to produce the desired crop - leafy or root vegetables and even some fruiting plants like tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. But those grown for their developing or ripened fruit certainly do. How does one best use row cover for plants under attack but requiring wind or insect pollination?
Summer Squash is a good example. In our area of the country, cucumber beetles are serious pests. We still have plenty of bees, but sometimes I do declare that cucumber beetles are our best pollinator. They're everywhere!
*** Are you combatting squash vine borers? They're a different issue altogether and a real pain! But there is a solution. New pages concerning pest protection are underway. Come back soon for tips and tricks. ***
I cover my squash on the day of seeding and keep it covered until the first bloom opens. Monitor closely, though. Sometimes the first blooms are all female, and with no male blooms open, the baby fruits will wither. Very soon, though, the boys come into town. Uncover, and a couple hours later, you're stealth-delivering zucchini to your neighbors in the dark of night.
|Cone-shaped Caraflex cabbages, broccoli, and Minuet mini-Nappa cabbage growing under cover.
Sometimes the moths win and sneak in anyway. Check regularly for the white cabbage moth flitting about inside (Lift the covers on one side or one end and let them out.) Inspect the centers of the plants for larvae. The height of the raised bed makes monitoring easier.
SOME PLANTS REQUIRE INSECT OR WIND POLLINATION - REMOVE COVERS AT BLOOM TIME
Squash, Summer and Winter
SOME PLANTS DO NOT REQUIRE POLLINATORS TO PRODUCE THE EDIBLE CROP AND CAN REMAIN COVERED UNTIL HARVEST
Grown for their leaves or roots:
Self-Pollinators (no help needed)
Beans (I love a frustrated bean beetle!)
Eggplant (Hahaha, flea beetles!)
Some new varieties of cucumbers
Two eggplants at the end of the pepper bed, under insect barrier row cover. The peppers never attract pests, but the eggplant are flea beetle magnets!
We use Agribon AG-15, available from Johnny's Seeds (250' roll) and from and from Amazon in 50' and 250' rolls
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