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Anyone Using Agribon Row Cover To Extend The Growing Season?

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quiltbea
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Post  MoneyMan94 10/13/2011, 12:04 pm


Living on Long Island (NY) we will be getting our first frost shortly. I have broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and lettuce in my garden right now. I have done some research on using Agribon (30) to cover the garden and lengthen my season. This is my first time attempting any fall vegetables.



I am wondering if anyone has used this in the past and if there are any words of wisdom you can impart on your experiences.



Thanks

Rob
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Post  Kelejan 10/13/2011, 2:22 pm

No, I have not. Do you have any opinion on it, Rob?
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Post  staf74 10/13/2011, 2:49 pm

I and a few others had a thread of "winterizing experiment" or "winterizing update" last fall. BBG had a good one "hoop house question, please solve" (I think). Not specific to Agribon I'm afraid but lots of great info about season extension. If you can, get a hold of Eliot Colemans books. The "winter harvest handbook" and "four season gardening" both have references to Agribon if my memory serves me correct. The BEST season extension books out there IMO, bar none. You will get MUCH more insulation from double row covers, one closer to the plants that traps ambient heat rising up from under your bed and trapped in your mix from daily sunlight. Good luck ! I love season extension and just about ready to go again with my hoop house.
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Post  MoneyMan94 10/13/2011, 10:37 pm

Kelejan wrote:No, I have not. Do you have any opinion on it, Rob?

Kelejan - From what I have read about it the covers are a huge help in protecting your plants. The thing I am struggling with most is what grade to use (19, 30, 50, etc). The 30 seems to be a good one for frost protection and allowing light to enter.

On a trip upstate last week with my daughter we passed many farms, some of which had the Agribon already on their plants and others that had 3’ diameter rolls (lots of them) on their land waiting to go on. Being that these farmers are growing as a business I feel it must be worth using.

I did go ahead and order the 30 and I bought some ½” and 1” gray electrical conduit to create the hoops. For a 4’ x 8’ bed I will drive 12” of the 1” pipe into the ground just outside of my raised bed. The ½” pipes fit inside of them and they will form the hoops. In the spring I will remove the 1” pipes from the ground and save them for next year.
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Post  MoneyMan94 10/13/2011, 10:43 pm

staf74 wrote:I and a few others had a thread of "winterizing experiment" or "winterizing update" last fall. BBG had a good one "hoop house question, please solve" (I think). Not specific to Agribon I'm afraid but lots of great info about season extension. If you can, get a hold of Eliot Colemans books. The "winter harvest handbook" and "four season gardening" both have references to Agribon if my memory serves me correct. The BEST season extension books out there IMO, bar none. You will get MUCH more insulation from double row covers, one closer to the plants that traps ambient heat rising up from under your bed and trapped in your mix from daily sunlight. Good luck ! I love season extension and just about ready to go again with my hoop house.

staf74 – You are spot on with Elliot Coleman’s books they are great. And I couldn’t agree more that if you are able to have the double covers it is so much better than just the Agribon.
I do not have the time to get it done this year but I will be searching Craig’s list (and others) for free materials to use to create this for next year.
Thanks again for the feedback.

I would still like to hear from anyone that has used Agribon (or its equivalent) in the past. Good or bad will both be helpful.
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Post  quiltbea 10/13/2011, 11:38 pm

Yes, I've used the cover to extend crops. It worked in the early spring for temps down to 28*F when I planted before the last frost and it worked last fall when I covered against a few cold snaps. It helped extend my harvest. I'd say use it.
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Post  staf74 10/14/2011, 12:26 am

Hey Rob,

I lived on the Island for 5 years. Oakdale and East Islip but worked all over and loved it but do NOT miss the traffic on the L.I.E .....lol.

Deffo use the floating row cover. Can I trouble you for some specifics? How far along are your plants? That will tell you how serious you need to get re: season extension. If Broccoli is headed up already, you might just need two weeks to bring it to maturity and just Agribon might be fine. If not, then another cover will help, as you know, tremendously. That does not entail much work at all. My assumption might be wrong but if you have 4x4 beds, then four rebar and two 10 ft plastic pipes and throwing even a sleeping bag or plastic cover from the paint section at Lowes (plus Agribon nearer plants) will give you piece of mind down to probably 20 degrees or even the teens if done well. A 10 minute job will enhance your Agribon no end and it can be done with any existing material to hold perhaps an old sheet or sleeping bag in place over your bed if you can't afford rebar/plastic or a trip to Lowes right now. I was always worried every night with just one cover and like QB states: 26-28 degrees was about as much as I could get also with just the one layer, Agribon or not. So if you want to cheat just the first few frosts, then you'll be fine. I know I have not used Agribon so sorry to chime in again but #30 on its own will only give you at most, 6 degrees of protection. Remember, the forecast might say 28 but your particular microclimate in your back yard might be considerably less than that. Mine is at least 2/3 degrees lower than the forecast for my zipcode.

Now using my old Christmas lights for additional heat........that's a whole other story.
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Post  MoneyMan94 10/16/2011, 7:40 am

staf74 wrote:Hey Rob, I lived on the Island for 5 years. Oakdale and East Islip but worked all over and loved it but do NOT miss the traffic on the L.I.E .....lol. .

Traffic is certainly an issue and as for the LIE I am sure you remember its nickname "The Largest Parking Lot In The World"!

staf74 wrote: Deffo use the floating row cover. Can I trouble you for some specifics? How far along are your plants? That will tell you how serious you need to get re: season extension. If Broccoli is headed up already, you might just need two weeks to bring it to maturity and just Agribon might be fine. If not, then another cover will help, as you know, tremendously. That does not entail much work at all. My assumption might be wrong but if you have 4x4 beds, then four rebar and two 10 ft plastic pipes and throwing even a sleeping bag or plastic cover from the paint section at Lowes (plus Agribon nearer plants) will give you piece of mind down to probably 20 degrees or even the teens if done well. A 10 minute job will enhance your Agribon no end and it can be done with any existing material to hold perhaps an old sheet or sleeping bag in place over your bed if you can't afford rebar/plastic or a trip to Lowes right now. I was always worried every night with just one cover and like QB states: 26-28 degrees was about as much as I could get also with just the one layer, Agribon or not. So if you want to cheat just the first few frosts, then you'll be fine. I know I have not used Agribon so sorry to chime in again but #30 on its own will only give you at most, 6 degrees of protection. Remember, the forecast might say 28 but your particular microclimate in your back yard might be considerably less than that. Mine is at least 2/3 degrees lower than the forecast for my zipcode. .

My plants are fairly young, no heading yet on the broccoli (they are 6 - 8" tall) the lettuce is 1 - 2" tall. What I did was put up a hoop house with 3.5 mil plastic over the bed for now. I will be placing the agribon over the plants to create a second layer and increase the temperature at the level of the plants.

Here is the link to the post I put up with pictures of the hoop house

Hoop House Tutorial

staf74 wrote: Now using my old Christmas lights for additional heat........that's a whole other story.

I like the idea of using old Christmas lights on cold nights, I need to get into the attic to find mine and try it out.

Thanks
Rob
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Post  FamilyGardening 12/19/2012, 12:15 am

where is the best place/web site to purchase agribon?

have you found it works well to keep out aphids?...we were thinking about getting the 15 strength....light weight one

happy gardening
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Post  quiltbea 12/19/2012, 11:18 am

I got mine from johnnyseeds.com but you can get it from most garden supply house catalogs. There are different weights, the higher the number the more frost protection.

The AG-30 gives 70% light transmission, the AG-50 has more freeze protection with 50% light transmission, and the AG-70 has the most protection but only 30% light transmission.

I'm sure a plastic-covered hoop house with agribon over the plants themselves would give improved frost protection.

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Post  yolos 12/19/2012, 6:46 pm

I use agribon 19 purchased from johnnyseeds also. I usually fold it double to get twice the protection but it gets a lot less light if doubled up. I put it on at night and uncover during the day. We have very wide swings in temperature from night to day and it has to be uncovered during the day. 30* last night and about 69* today.
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Post  sanderson 4/8/2024, 5:54 pm

California, here.  I was about to cheap sell all of my old Agribon and I'm glad I didn't get around to it.  I have some tomatoes and all of the peppers, luffa, summer squashes and cucumber already planted.  The weather report showed a change in our normal lovely spring.  So, I put the Agribon on everything planted.  We got down to 39*F one night and even had rain, thunderstorms (which means hail to me).  Locals posted photos of their hail on Facebook.  I must have been napping after installing all of the covers.  sawing logs
Anyone Using Agribon Row Cover To Extend The Growing Season? Agribo10

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Post  OhioGardener 4/8/2024, 7:54 pm

sanderson wrote:


Anyone Using Agribon Row Cover To Extend The Growing Season? Agribo11

Are those cat guards on the raised beds?

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Post  sanderson 4/8/2024, 10:28 pm

Yep.  New experiment.

For the winter, the green bird netting tightly secured over winterized beds worked well.  Winter beds that were planted with brassicas were completely  covered with bridal tulle.

This spring, I tried wrapping the summer-planted beds with 2' tall netting or bridal tulle, and it was too easy for them to pull it down to get in and out.  

So far the orange fencing is working great.  I will direct sow the beans in the holes.  I did little extra cut outs for the tomatoes and peppers as the main stems tend to get thick and even lean some.  Stay tune.

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