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shade cloth question

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shade cloth question

Post  kbachli on 3/13/2015, 9:16 pm

Can anyone give me guidance on when to use a shade cloth?  Do you shade your plants when it reaches a certain temp, and if so, what temp?  Once we reach the hottest time of the year, do you leave it on all the time?  Or do you take it off for periods to give the plants some direct sun?  Any advice appreciated.  Thanks!
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Re: shade cloth question

Post  sanderson on 3/14/2015, 2:58 am

I can narrow it down to 2 general guides. #1 -When it hits 100*F, the shade material goes up. Anything potted goes into shady areas. #2 - protection from the western sun is my priority. The morning sun, before the day heats up, is okay.

Plants can be like people. When it is hot, we don't like to do much. Keep hydrated. Cover the soil with mulch to keep the soil cool and reduce evaporation. The plants may not set fruit (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, etc.) but they will survive and start to produce again when it drops under 100*F. Other crops just aren't appropriate in the hot summers. Lettuce, bok choy, coles will bolt (produce flowers). That's the end of them. They are better California winter crops. I hope this helps.

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Re: shade cloth question

Post  kbachli on 3/14/2015, 4:58 pm

Yes, that helps a lot.  Thanks!
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Re: shade cloth question

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/14/2015, 6:56 pm

I have used two methods to shade my gardens, one is using used recycled sheer curtains which shade very nicely without blocking a lot of uv light.  Then for my greenhouse, I bought a commercial shade cloth that is white but blocks 30% of the sun and kept my greenhouse within 5-10 degrees of the outside temps.

Both work very well and when you're over 95-100 the plants really enjoy the break from the sun just like we do :-)
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Re: shade cloth question

Post  Mikesgardn on 3/14/2015, 7:59 pm

Both my wife and I work, so nobody is home to water the garden during the day.  In the middle of the summer here in Maryland, my plants will wilt if they don't get a mid-day watering.  Since I can't do that, I use shade cloth.   That keeps the plants from wilting until I get home and water them.
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My shade cloth usage

Post  crankyoldman on 3/15/2015, 5:59 pm

I use a shade cloth that is supposed to be 60% to 70% sun blocking. Here in Phoenix I do not deploy it until the temps go above 95F, once they do I leave it deployed until temps drop back below the mid 90's and on cloudy days (not many of those here in Phoenix). I believe the 60
% to 70% sun block rating of the shade cloth is high as my plants grow well under it and I can feel the intense sun while standing in the shade.
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Re: shade cloth question

Post  brainchasm on 3/16/2015, 5:09 pm

I tried shade cloth last year in Las Vegas, and honestly didn't see much difference.

Things like tomatoes are working off ambient temps as far as I can tell - if it's 95 out, then it's 95 - they aren't gonna set fruit.

Also, shading melons and peppers and other heat-loving plants just pissed them off.

Consistent watering was much more effective in keeping my plants happy. Smile  But again, this was just my experience.

(in other news, my radishes are bolting, of all things, hahah)

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Re: shade cloth question

Post  Kelejan on 3/16/2015, 7:44 pm

I believe that plants wilting is their way of surviving the heat until the sun sets.  Their roots should be deep into the soil. Maybe that is why it is better to soak thoroughly rather than water every day.

Has anyone experience of not being able to water one day, or more? How long can plants survive without watering?

Anyone prepared to sacrifice a plant or two?
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Re: shade cloth question

Post  jkahn2eb on 7/28/2015, 11:58 am

I just posted that I have seeds sprouting under the shade cloth that planting guides say shouldn't occur.  When I see temps about to hit 100 the cloth goes up.  When I see 100 is basically done the cloth comes down.  4 months of the circus tent down here in Phx.

I may not get fruits setting but as soon as temps drop, everything that stayed alive (tomatoes) has a huge fall crop.
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Re: shade cloth question

Post  jimmy cee on 7/28/2015, 2:16 pm

@ pictures below show my success with a complete covering the entire season. I started when adding plants and sowed seeds direct. I will maintain one bed with a cover forever.  I started late, cold weather, and I wasn't able to well maintain my beds this season. My kohlrabi came up nicely, broccoli as well, however a little sparse. all herbs did and doing well, I planted way to much, did that for experiments. One surprising item is the way celery is growing, it's doing nicely, smelling delicious, can't wait to pick it..
I started this in beginning and since I have found a cover that's very durable I am sticking with it for non pollinating plants. Some issues with sow bugs, milipedes, and earwigs, will tend to them as time allows.

By the way.. I was away for 6 days and no rain, beds only used moisture retained my Mel's Mix..

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Re: shade cloth question

Post  sanderson on 7/28/2015, 3:57 pm

Yep.  Can't wait.  

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Re: shade cloth question

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/28/2015, 6:48 pm

Even if shade cloth can't change temperature enough for things like tomatoes to fruit when it's just too hot, if it can prevent sun scorch on leaves or fruits, that's still very valuable. I get a lotta scorched veggies where I live.
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Re: shade cloth question

Post  sanderson on 5/1/2016, 4:27 pm

Bump. Getting close to the time to put up shade cloth in some Regions. There are 47 Threads on Shade!

(I use sheer curtains and 75% shade cloth from Home Depot.)

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