using compost to weigh down row cover

much of my job is as a garden educator, meaning i teach people how to garden, specify in urban areas, using organic methods.  while there are some that view teaching as the opportunity to share your knowledge, i like to think of it more as a facilitator of group knowledge, as often the group has as much experience and info as i, if not more.  especially considering that i am often teaching folks twice my age.  this winter teaching the urban roots class on pest control and explaining how to hold down row cover – mr. d as he is known to almost everyone recommended using old shopping bags that you fill with compost and then when you are done you simple rip them open and spread your compost out into the field.

in the past i had managed row cover in one of 3 ways, either covering it with soil, using rocks to weigh it down or special clips to hold it in place.  soil got it all dirty, rocks made for a major tripping hazard and were a pain to carry out of the field, and the clips never seemed to work.  i was looking for another solution, and had already come up with the idea of using bags – in this case reusable sand bags – but was planing on filling them up with soil from the garden instead of compost.  using compost in the bags, you move the compost into the field at the same time that you lay down your row cover, then when you are done for the season you simply untie the bag and dump out the compost, prepping the beds for next year.

filling sand bags with compost

filled sandbags

row cover with sandbags

in time i may find it a pain to carry those filled sand bags out into the field and decide that it would be better just to fill them with soil out where i want them so i only have to cary empty bags and a shovel, but i thought i would give this a try.  no matter what i’m very happy with the sandbags for holding down the row cover, they do a good job holding it down, are pretty easy to handle, and don’t rip the row cover.


2 responses to “using compost to weigh down row cover

  1. Nice idea, Patrick, Ilike the compost method and I do not seem to think that it matters if it is soil, empty or compost…You have to move compost anyway, you could always use a wheelbarrel to bring it there.right?

  2. it’s true it’s got to be moved no matter what.

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