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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short, I couldn't get the garden tilled this year. Instead I purchased some "garden fabric" that doesn't let the weeds grow through.I layed it out and cut holes where I wanted the plants. I loosened up the soil in those spots and transplanted my veggies. So far so good...Except... on hot days the tomatoes look like they are going to wilt to nothing.
Has anyone else gardened this way? Any pointers? I'm in northern pennsylvania. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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Skeeter,
I found when I used that fabric, I had to use shredded papers on top of it or my plants wilted too easy. Don't know if it was the black that attracted the heat or just the hot summer temps but that seemed to do the trick.
 

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Seeking The Truth
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Long story short, I couldn't get the garden tilled this year. Instead I purchased some "garden fabric" that doesn't let the weeds grow through.I layed it out and cut holes where I wanted the plants. I loosened up the soil in those spots and transplanted my veggies. So far so good...Except... on hot days the tomatoes look like they are going to wilt to nothing.
Has anyone else gardened this way? Any pointers? I'm in northern pennsylvania. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I use shade clothe for this,but weeds will grow through it in time.So I put pine straw over it.It keeps the ground cooler and stops the weeds.

Tomatoes don't like a lot of water in hot weather,imo.We water deep twice a week.Try not to wet the plants,just the roots.We are in a terrible draught,fires and smoke.And my tomates have made it and did really well,thank goodness.
 

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Seeking The Truth
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Skeeter,
I found when I used that fabric, I had to use shredded papers on top of it or my plants wilted too easy. Don't know if it was the black that attracted the heat or just the hot summer temps but that seemed to do the trick.
Hi there in Atlanta,my home town.Good advice.
 

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performing monkey
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Tomatoes don't like a lot of water in hot weather,imo.We water deep twice a week.Try not to wet the plants,just the roots.We are in a terrible draught,fires and smoke.And my tomates have made it and did really well,thank goodness.
In addition to thinking about water conservation when watering the garden, gardeners should also consider the health of their plants. Fortunately, the needs of plant health and water conservation actually coincide, and the same advice about watering holds true for people in drought areas as it does for those with plentiful water who merely want healthy plants. As a general rule, watering should be deep and infrequent, as this helps plants to establish a strong root system. However, the time of day that gardeners water the garden is also important.

I have found that the best time of day to water the garden is early morning, before the heat of the day has set in. This reduces the amount of water lost through evaporation, and also provides water for the plants to help them get through the heat of the day. Every few days, water the garden with a deep soaking of water in the early morning, and use drip irrigation, watering cans, or targeted hoses, rather than sprinklers and other devices which diffuse the water all over the garden. Sprinklers are inefficient, and they can also cause plant damage. As a rule of thumb, try to water the garden with one inch (two and a half centimeters) of water every week, through a combination of precipitation and watering.

Do not water the garden during the heat of the day, because the water will evaporate, rather than penetrating the soil. The goal is to deeply soak the soil, encouraging the plant to put out more roots to search for water, rather than creating a shallow area of moisture and keeping it moist. A plant with ready access to water through daily watering will develop a shallow root system and become weakened. Plants which are used to the stress of less frequent watering will also do better in varied weather conditions, or when a gardener forgets to water the garden.

If watering in the evening, after the heat is passed, make sure to water early enough that the leaves of the plants will completely dry before night time. Fungal infections can colonize leaves which are left moist overnight, and roots will also suffer from being watered in the late evening. Being left moist and cold at night can lead to rot and fungal infections of plant roots, an undesired result.

If you are trying to conserve water, water the garden with reclaimed water and rainwater, and make sure to check your irrigation system for leaks frequently. If you have time, hand-water all of the plants to ensure the most efficient use of water, checking the soil for moisture levels. If you do not, invest in a quality irrigation system which will help your garden to flourish. Gardeners with less water concerns should still water the garden wisely, as extra water will not lead to healthier plants.
 

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Skeeter,
I found when I used that fabric, I had to use shredded papers on top of it or my plants wilted too easy. Don't know if it was the black that attracted the heat or just the hot summer temps but that seemed to do the trick.
I'm with Dixie. It may be a bit late in the season but I use grass clippings instead of paper (just because I had the clippings early in the season).

I may be putting more cloth down a little later in the season and will probably use straw to cover it. Be careful with pine straw as I heard it can greatly affect the PH factor. IIRC, it's good for flowers but maybe not so for veggies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to all for the replies. I thought about the black creating heat, so I think I'll find something to put over it. THANKS AGAIN.
 

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In addition to thinking about water conservation when watering the garden, gardeners should also consider the health of their plants. Fortunately, the needs of plant health and water conservation actually coincide, and the same advice about watering holds true for people in drought areas as it does for those with plentiful water who merely want healthy plants. As a general rule, watering should be deep and infrequent, as this helps plants to establish a strong root system. However, the time of day that gardeners water the garden is also important.

I have found that the best time of day to water the garden is early morning, before the heat of the day has set in. This reduces the amount of water lost through evaporation, and also provides water for the plants to help them get through the heat of the day. Every few days, water the garden with a deep soaking of water in the early morning, and use drip irrigation, watering cans, or targeted hoses, rather than sprinklers and other devices which diffuse the water all over the garden. Sprinklers are inefficient, and they can also cause plant damage. As a rule of thumb, try to water the garden with one inch (two and a half centimeters) of water every week, through a combination of precipitation and watering.

Do not water the garden during the heat of the day, because the water will evaporate, rather than penetrating the soil. The goal is to deeply soak the soil, encouraging the plant to put out more roots to search for water, rather than creating a shallow area of moisture and keeping it moist. A plant with ready access to water through daily watering will develop a shallow root system and become weakened. Plants which are used to the stress of less frequent watering will also do better in varied weather conditions, or when a gardener forgets to water the garden.

If watering in the evening, after the heat is passed, make sure to water early enough that the leaves of the plants will completely dry before night time. Fungal infections can colonize leaves which are left moist overnight, and roots will also suffer from being watered in the late evening. Being left moist and cold at night can lead to rot and fungal infections of plant roots, an undesired result.

If you are trying to conserve water, water the garden with reclaimed water and rainwater, and make sure to check your irrigation system for leaks frequently. If you have time, hand-water all of the plants to ensure the most efficient use of water, checking the soil for moisture levels. If you do not, invest in a quality irrigation system which will help your garden to flourish. Gardeners with less water concerns should still water the garden wisely, as extra water will not lead to healthier plants.
Agree with all of the above.

That hose will break your back watering under plants,but ths year I've had to use it.

My soaker hoses need replacing,they are not watering correctly anymore.
 

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I've only used it as a base to keep plants from growing period. Is there any way to add shelter to your tomatoes?
I hate to admit it, but I have sewed white sheets together and draped them over poles to shade some of the plants that look stressed. This was mostly when we were having days on end of over 100 degree temps a few years back. Sure helped keep the sun off of us while we were picking the garden.
BTW, I too use soaker hoses under the mulch, so much easier.
 

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I heard Cheese Cloth is a good option for covering plants from both heat and frost. A forum or internet search would be needed for details.
 

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I couldn't afford that much cheese cloth. My rows are over 50 feet and I already had some old white sheets.
 
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