What can be used for row covers?

southerngardengal(z7bMS)August 7, 2005

I have a large amount of cheese cloth that I bought a couple of years ago. I needed about 8 yards but misfigured the amount by about twenty yards...:0(

I want to plant some lettuces, mustard, carrots, turnip greens, kale etc, etc, etc and am wondering if the cheese cloth would work as a row cover to keep the bugs that love to devour fall veggies away? Will buy some row cover if you all don't think the cheese cloth will work but if it will work will save my $5.00 (LOL) and use what I already have...Thank you for your help.


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I don't see why it would not work as well as thing.You know the only thing you can do is try. Good luck Jim

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 2:15PM
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Thanks Jim. I am gonna try it. Can figure what else to to do with twenty yards of cheese cloth. :0)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 5:08PM
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I don't think the weave is tight enough on cheesecloth to keep bugs out. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 6:11PM
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woodsworm(7a NC)

Southerngardengal, do you have any sunflowers? If you do, the cheesecloth mesh might be fine enough to keep out birds while the seeds mature (tie squares around the heads). Just a thought.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 10:26PM
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Thank you all for the responses. I was thinking the weave might be too loose but wanted a second opinion...LOL.

WoodWorm, I didn't plant sunflowers this year. This is the first year that I haven't had sunflowers in a long while. I will keep your hint in mind though so when I do have sunflowers again I will know how to keep some of the seeds until winter feeding time for the birds.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 8:47PM
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Before floating row covers, there was cheescloth and burlap sacks, darling. It is what my mother still uses, and what my Grannie used in her day.

I even use old white cotton bed linens.
Do not use sheets in blues or yellows, though, as insects are attracted to those colors and will hop on the cover and then find what's beneath it!

I use cheesecloth and it works fine and dandy.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 12:39PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The good thing about the commerical product manufactured for this purpose is that it lets the maximum amount of light in, but keeps out the maximum amount of critters! Good air flow, rain penetration, won't rot or mildew, etc.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 11:08AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

The cheesecloth should work well. I also use old sheets. I have found that old matteress covers (the thin white ones) work really well and are breathable. These also work great for short frosts. You can cut off the elastic on the corners to make them more flat, or if you want to cover one large shrub or rose (etc)you can leave the elastic intact to get a more form-fitting cover.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 11:33AM
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Cheesecloth is more natural - cotton. Plants are natural and they like natural things and do not like synthetic materials or the chemicals that outgas from them. The typical white cover you see sold in gardening stores is made of the same stuff that came out of the well in the gulf - petroleum!
I have found that cheesecloth comes in different weaves or grades. I'm going to try the #40 which is about 20 * 24 strands of fiber per square inch. To let more light in you may want to use the #10. To allow less bugs in use a tighter weave. Regardless, I an going to use all natural cheezecloth material.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 4:23PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm interested in the theory that plants like 'natural' materials.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 10:20PM
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