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Thank you all for your insight!

Question:
I am seeding cucurbits this morning and thinking about our planting and
maintenance strategies this year. Have any of you used reemay on squash
after transplanting, without using metal hoops to hold the reemay up, off
the plants? If so, I'd love to hear how it went! We're planning on using
hoops, but would avoid it if possible.

Responses:

If you're looking just for beetle protection, you can drape row cover right
over the plants - just make sure it's not tight side to side so the fabric
doesn't smush the plants.  If you want to warm them up you'll want hoops.

We avoid hoops when possible, so yes we have tried that, and it didn't go
well. The remay battered the plants in the wind and we lost enough plants
that we resolved to always use hoops for cucurbits.

We cover our cucurbits immediately after transplanting with the lightweight
wide Covertan from Brookdale, I think it’s 35’ wide. Our rows are 200’ long
and we can cover about 6 rows with it. We don’t use hoops but give it some
room to expand as the plants grow and shovel dirt along the edges to secure
it. We remove to cultivate and recover then remove for good before
flowering. We like having fewer large covers because it is easier and
faster to cover and uncover. Protects the plants from cucumber beetles,
squash bugs, slugs, and cooler temps as they get established. Good luck!

I don’t use hoops any more.  There is always some broken leaves, and
sometimes some rough looking plants for a few weeks, but they take off, and
push the cover up just fine.
It works better with smaller stout plants.  Not tall leggy ones.
these plants must be going in a hoophouse ?

When I worked at River Berry we would transplant zucchini and summer squash
and then use remay over it without hoops. It's a little hit or miss with
frying plants but if you catch a window of cloudy days and keep them
watered it always seemed to work pretty well for us and saved a lot of
messing around with hoops. We would usually seed rye grass between the beds
and then use a pretty large piece of row cover - like 50' wide to cover the
whole block - and leave it on until we start seeing flowers. At that point
the rye grass would be well established in the wheel tracks and maybe just
need to be mowed/weedwhacked once or twice during the harvest season.

We do exactly this - cover winter squash with non-hooped remay for extra
warmth and insect protection.  We dont take it off until we see flowers.

I guess some folks have luck without hoops, but we have not. Wind is the
issue. Flapping remay on new transplants is a death sentence, at the very
least sets them way back

For our winter squash, we do not plant it in plastic, but then we always
cover it with multi row reemay immediately after planting and do not use
hoops. We always make sure to build enough slack into the reemay, so the
plants don't get crushed or sheared off. You have to be super careful with
this!  We use sand bags to hold it down, then take it off after a few weeks
to cultivate and hoe. We use overhead irrigation with this system. For
melons, we plant in plastic, then cover with single row reemay without
hoops, then use trickle. Curious to hear what others do! Hope that helps!

Super quick note about not using the hoops... I've tried it multiple times.
This was with like acres of hoops and remay at the old farm I managed...
really tempting to not hoop.

One time we didn't hoop over peppers. Then we left it on too long and it
sealed to the plastic weed barrier and not only destroyed the plants but
peeled back all the plastic. It was a thing of nightmares. With cucurbits
we would get stems breaking/windburn/sunburn etc.

We have a very dialed in obsessive remay and hooping system since we are in
a windy area and hate fighting remay at 9pm.

Maybe there's a way but I have never not regretted skipping hooping.

We lay relay over them with out hoops and its fine. I don’t hoop anything
anymore.
Though I don’t put squash out before may 15 so you may find you ll have
more cold protection. Some studies stay its the same though.

We used to use hoops, that does work. But then we by accident had a field
with no hoops and they did fine. So now we simply cover the field after
planting. Small plants work best but the large plants will survive as well.
We now dip the plants in clay before setting out to futher help them
survive.

-- 
*Cory Froning (she/her)*
Richmond, Vermont
734-546-1068
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