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Remay

 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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I feel like I must take this opportunity to stress how vehemently I hate Remay. That spun petroleum floating row cover.

I have worked on smaller market gardens where this product was a minor annoyance but probably worth it when used on on or three 75 foot beds for pest exclusion and season extension. And anyone who uses it for that purpose, more power to you. What I'm talking about is on the farm scale. Huge sheets which cover a quarter acre or more at a time. Not only are they a huge pain in the ass and drain of manpower to take off and put back on, but they are not durable. They rip frustratingly easily especially when wet. They give the weeds a huge leg up too. The weeds swallow the crops, and since they're covered in Remay you don't even notice them doing it. When it starts getting hot the crops fry. When its cold the tips get frost and windburned. Did I mention that it rips really easily? I HATE THIS STUFF.

Thing is it does make for a good pest exclusion. And despite the best efforts of everyone in planting rows of plants to attract beneficial things like rust fly and root maggot are tenacious. Especially when others around you don't use organic practices and the area has been intensively farmed for well over a century. Now I wish there was a simple solution like rotating out crops for a couple years. And trust me, my first suggestion was basically "Why don't we cough up 250$ to the state and grow hella Weed for a few years?" but when ones lively hood is dependent on a market you've made for yourself having great carrots (for instance) and your business model is based around that, you don't want to take to many risks, alienate your longtime buyers, and go galloping off into the unknown. You deal with the shitty fucking remay and you bitch about it hard, especially when you have to throw it out.

Seriously though. Alternatives to remay. Discuss here: >>>>
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1341
Location: northern California
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I've only used the heavier grades mostly for frost protection, sometimes on top of hoops and with sprinklers run over the whole, which turns the reemay into "igloos" of ice which gave excellent protection from cold and wind! I designed and made a large spool setup which allowed me to singlehandedly roll the fabric back up from the end of the rows onto a roll when not needed....the same gizmo permitted the fabric to be hastily pulled back out onto the rows.....
 
William James
gardener
Posts: 1012
Location: Northern Italy
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Heavier grade?

We worked with two different grades and the cheap and light grade ripped all over the place. The heavy grade is still with us.

On the large scale, I would be trialing a polyculture that brings down weed pressure and provides shade. Even if you come out short on carrots, the money and labor you save by not working with remay might make it worth the lower yield.

Carrots don't grow past a few centimeters in our soil, so I can't help you with any specific planting strategies.

William
 
Phillip Swartz
Posts: 38
Location: Upper Midwest - Third Coast - USDA Zone 6a/b
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I assume you've already perfect the art of tying knots in Remay when it rips?

I think maybe you need to change your attitude. Don't get me wrong, because I know using remay can suck a big one. You didn't even mention all of the time + capital expenditure that goes into holding Remay down on the ground and trying to fight loose remay on a windy day (maybe that's just an Illinois problem .

Maybe it you approach this issue knowing fully well that Remay sucks and is expendable then you'll be a little more relaxed about the process. First off you need to have at least three separate and distinct storage areas for remay. 1) New remay on rolls stored in a dry place away from rodents like rafters of the tool shed 2) Used remay that is in good condition and can be reused for bug and/or frost protection 3) Remay that has been used and is significantly torn but can still be used for things that need overwinter protection from the elements such as garlic, strawberries, spinach etc. You will probably use a double layer in these situations 4) Dumpster or Upcycle

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