Row covers have been used by farmers for years to extend the season of summer crops and to get their Fall/Winter crops off to a good start. In our video, Protecting Plants From Frost, Tricia demonstrates how to build a low tunnel using PVC pipe covered with the row cover, Agribon.
Another product that can be used for a low tunnel or as a floating row cover, is the very durable, Dio-Betalon (similar to Tuffbell).
Durable and Long-lasting
Dio-Betalon is a high-tech material made out of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), a bit more expensive that the other row covers, but it lasts longer and is extremely durable. Here’s some key features of Dio-Betalon row cover:
Frost Protection – Dio-Betalon is hygroscopic, which means it is able to attract and hold water. It attracts water and allows passage to the plants during the day. During cold nights, the water freezes to the fibers and forms an “igloo” that insulates the plants from freezing temperatures.
Heat Preserving – prevents radiant cooling during the night. So your plants stay nice and cozy during frigid nights.
High Permeability – very porous, so water can pass through. You don’t have to worry about venting when you use the Dio-Betalon. The porous nature allows heat built up during the day to escape.
Light Penetration/Transparency – allows more light through than the heavy weight Agribons, about 90% +! This is great especially if you use it as a floating row cover. No need to remove the cover for to give your plants more light.
Here is a photo of Dio-Betalon used in a low tunnel, courtesy from blogger Kat Skinner. Looks like her plants are thriving under the clear row cover.
Protect Your Veggies Over the Winter
Dio-Betalon can be installed the same way as Agribon or clear greenhouse poly. Start at one end and secure the row cover with snap clamps to the PVC pipe. The bottom can be secured with sandbags, a heavy board or buried in the soil.
Try a low tunnel covered with Dio-Betalon and enjoy a Winter garden full of happy, healthy plants.