I’ve had a question about the row covers and plastic cups in the brassica bed, so thought I’d explain it more clearly in a quick post. I cut the bottom of a plastic cup and tuck it over the seedling. This is a slug prevention strategy. Slugs love my garden, and call all their friends and relatives when new seedlings go out. The cup adds a barrier the slug has to ooze over before reaching my tender seedling. I put the cup in the ground with the smooth rolled rim in the soil, leaving the jagged cut edge for the slug to traverse before reaching the seedling. It may be overkill but I also use a sprinkling of diatomaceous earth and some non-toxic slug bait. The tops of milk jugs also work to protect seedlings from slugs, and act as tiny little hot houses in addition.
The row covers are held on with 3/4″ pvc pipe slipped over rebar lengths inserted into the soil. In theory, floating row cover can just lay atop the seedlings as they grow — except for tomatoes and peppers which don’t like it. What I discovered to my great dismay last year was this enables the slugs to go to town eating the developing florets of the broccoli and cauliflower. As I already had the pvc and rebar for small hoop houses and the snowdome for the hen’s winter range, I decided to use it to make larger hoops for the row cover to keep the slugs from traveling across the row cover to the broccoli. I primarily use the row cover to prevent the evil cabbage moth and cabbage looper from laying eggs in my cole crops — it is highly effective at that. You can see images of how I set up the hoops here. I also feel that the hoops look tidier than the fabric just laying on the plants. I’d rather see gorgeous plants, but don’t want to have to use pesticides.