Here’s a relatively easy way to cover staked determinate-type tomato cultivars and pepper plants with floating row cover to prevent brown marmorated stinkbug feeding.
|Low tunnel covered with floating row cover|
I built two low tunnels for the Grow It Eat It demo garden at the Home and Garden Information Center. They are 2 ft. wide and 18 ft. long. I hammered ten, 2 ft. long pieces of 3/8 in. rebar, 10 inches into the ground along each side. The rebar pieces are 2 ft. apart across the row and 4 ft. apart in the row. I then cut ten, 10 ft. long pieces of 1/2 in. pvc water pipe into 8 ft. long pieces and inserted them over the rebar to make five bows.
|End bow of the stable frame- 42 in. high|
I then connected the bows at the top with stretchy clothesline and along each side with some nylon twine. I drove one short stake next to each tomato and pepper plant for support and covered the tops with duct tape to prevent tearing of the row cover. I cut and draped a piece of 22 ft. long X 10 ft. wide row cover over the frame, and secured it to the ground with bricks (you can use sod pins, boards, etc.)
|“Insect Barrier”, a light-weight floating row cover|
Kathy Rosendale, UME MG from Howard Co., and I built these on May 6 and they have held up nicely. We’ll leave the covers on throughout the summer to exclude insect pests (pepper and tomato do not require cross-pollination. More detailed information will be available in a few weeks with the revision of GE 004, Floating Row Covers, and a new YouTube video clip. Stay tuned…