I think I have become something of a proselytizer for floating row covers up here in the mountains.
1. You can plant earlier -- floating row covers provide anywhere from 3 to 8 degrees of frost protection, depending on the style (frost "blankets" obviously providing more protection than the thinnest "summer insect covers").
2. They keep off insects. Your arugula will be tender and free of flea-beetle damage if you keep it covered from seed. Same goes for aphids (unless you transplant them into your garden with your seedlings)
3. They keep bunnies, deer, and chipmunks out. No more buffet lunch for these critters! And if you protect your plants with a 1/4" wire mesh beneath the beds to keep out burrowing animals such as pocket gophers and voles, you're in tall cotton. Or tall lettuce. Or whatever. It's nice to see all of my seedlings growing where I planted them, rather than going out to survey the damage each morning. Makes for a much more peaceful existence!
|My new garden with mesh below and floating row cover above -- I'm not battling anything!|