Row covers are most often placed manually over muskmelon transplants and then removed at anthesis (the period at which 50% of plants have female flowers). Row covers protect muskmelons from bacterial wilt (vectored by cucumber beetles), early season frost, wind damage, and fungal diseases. However, the intensive labor needs of row cover deployment have limited their use to small fields on small-scale farms. In order to expand the use of row covers to large-scale farms, we are assessing the possibilities of using simple machinery to assist in the deployment and retrieval of the row covers.
Iowa State University
Torres, Zachary; Batzer, Jean C.; and Gleason, Mark L., "Effects of Scaling Up Row-cover Removal Timing in Conventionally Grown Muskmelon" (2014). Iowa State Research Farm Progress Reports. 2014.