A question ...or 10 about

Discussion in 'Gardening and Agriculture' started by HozayBuck, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    Gardens in hot summer areas...
    This being the second year in a row I've helped get the garden in and then headed north where we can't plant anything before the 15th of may...in a good year...

    In East Texas where it rains a lot by my standards it seems the last two years the garden just has a hell of a time with the heat...

    So..my question is..is it the heat, or the direct sun beating down? in other words would something like a netting that allows some sun but also creates shade help? would an over head misting system help? I know in Spain during the Olympics they did shaded areas with misting water vapor to cool folks and I guess it really works...

    But would it on a garden? I know you can buy surplus netting made for camo over equipment . It wouldn't be for all day use, just something to pull out when the heat of the day starts..

    Or would it be best to just water it real heavy every day or two? it's getting to be a problem and really bugs me... so..any thoughts?
    Another thought was a flat bed trailer that could have stuff in buckets and simply gentle pull it into shade in the afternoon..

    All crazy I know but what the hell, it might work
  2. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    I'll have to get GS to give more details later but we use a "row cover" available from seed suppliers to shade plants and to protect them from frost. They're a white gauze type of material that comes in big rolls about four feet wide. Lets the plants breathe through it and will let rain pass through too.

    My mother used to let large weeds grow up in places to shade tomatoes from the sun.

  3. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    Here in Central NC don’t know if it is the heat or humidity but the garden just about shuts down. I call it summer garden syndrome. Heavy/deep watering and mulch helps but plants are simply going to shut down or outright die on me then. I can still get tomatoes, melons, some squash and such but not near as productive as in the cooler months. Cooler being relative, I mean in the lower 90’s and 80’s. When it gets around 100F, no matter what I do (short of trying the shade thing) the squash will wilt back to look like they are dead but come back once the evening hits.

    I do find that protecting them from the afternoon sun helps, just make sure they can get enough morning sun to keep them happy. So the sun shade idea seems like it would work.
  4. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    The theory is sound. Think of a forest. The tall trees will create a shade-zone for the brush yet allow enough sunlight to do its job and help the little plants grow.

    You may want to build a sort of pole-barn setup along the south-side of your garden area. Stretch that sun-shade across the lower section of the poles and then do the same for the "roof" section allowing plenty of air flow to the plants in the shady-side. Leave the east/west sides completely open for the sun to do what it needs to do for the plants from those angles.

    I did a quick search on :google: (go ahead and click the sign) and found that there are lots of pictures of Garden Shade Structures and the majority of the ones that looked like what I was describing were all from Texas and some of the pictures were from garden-centers. I figure if the idea works for an industrial garden center to keep their plants happy, it should work in your back yard :2thumb:
  5. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    I went to a thrift store and bought worn out white bedsheets for .50 to $1.00, some of them huge king-sized flat sheets. Any light color, especially somewhat worn.

    Makes good garden cover in hot weather. It lets enough light through but shades the plants from the brutal heat and sunlight. It also lets rain through.

    I use them, even up here in Montana, in Jully and August when the hot, dry sunny days fry the garden. It's especially helpful for keeping things like lettuce and celery from bolting to seed. It keeps beans, broccoli, and peas from drying out and dying.

    The seed catalogs sell "row cover", which is a light, white gauzy cloth. I have some and it works very well against heat or frost, but it wears out and falls apart like wet felt after a few years' use. The bedsheets last for years.
  6. HarleyRider

    HarleyRider Comic Relief Member

    I heard that sheets work really well on a "flower bed". :rolleyes:

    For a few "heads" of lettuce, though, you should probably use a pillow case. :eek:

    (BAD Harley!! :D)
  7. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member


    GS, do you hang them high enough to walk under or drape them low? higher seems better... this is a good idea! string some cloths line and drape em over and cloths pin them on ..
    I'm gonna try it!! with a high center so to speak like a roof peak... YES!! I seez the light!!!!
  8. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    ow... my SPLEEN :surrender:
  9. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Harley, you're great!

    Hozay, I just lay the sheets gently across the plants, right on them. A nice worn-out sheet is pretty light. I used to use old blankets for frost covers but now I'm careful because if they get damp or wet from rain, they get heavy and break the plants. Obviously they wouldn't let a lot of light through, either.

    When we get a hot, dry spell I start spreading the sheets over peas, celery, broccoli, lettuce, and anything that starts looking limp, brown, or just too dry. I've even put them over squash. They've saved many a plant for us.

    Hold one up to the light and look through it. Lots of light coming through.

    Your idea of suspending them is probably good too. In Wisconsin I've seen frames that they drape with this black mesh stuff (looks like what they use for trampoline surfaces) over the frames, to shield the crops from excessive sun.
  10. HarleyRider

    HarleyRider Comic Relief Member

    You know... I heard that in Mexico the sun gets so hot that beans will fry right in the fields. Once this occurs, the pickers are notified to go out THE NEXT DAY to pick the beans, and since the beans have been in the field for two days the term "RE-FRIED BEANS" was born, and everyone knows that refried beans have been a staple in Mexico for a long time. :eek:

    (I know... BAD Harley!!) :D
  11. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    Sorry, I wasn't paying attention to this thread.

    Along the lines of what's been mentioned using sheets, cheesecloth works well. You can lay it right on the plants.
  12. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Sheer curtains are good garden shades too. I found some at the dump, but thrift stores might have some too. Or watch for Clearance prices at places like Wal-mart. Still cheaper than ordering row cover, and probably last longer.

    The sheer curtains cut the force of the sunlight, but still let in air and light, and keep the soil from drying out as fast.
  13. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    GypsySue beat me to it!! lol I buy up cheap thrift store and yard sale sheer curtains and use them to cover my cole crops like broccoli and cabbage against cabbage loopers and they grow very well under there. I just put up a couple of hoops of cheap pvc to keep them off the plants. I also sew up the tiny holes so that they can't find a way in.
    One nice thing about the sheers is that they can be sewn together in any shape you need.
  14. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    *Slaps forehead* I never thought about sewing the sheers together to make larger covers! Duh!!!

    Another thing I do is to use clothes pins to hold the curtains on to frames (when the poles are skinny enough) or even carefully to the plants themselves. The stalks, not the leaves. But that's something to be careful about.

    I've also weighed the edges with rocks. I make sure there's enough slack in the cloth to not pull down on the plant, then put the rocks on. We get a lot of wind here in hot, dry weather.
  15. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    I just mentioned cheesecloth since it can be used for so many things. It's nice to have a stash...