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California's Drought

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Post  Kelejan on 8/24/2015, 7:59 pm

@kauairosina wrote:I just turned 80 today and most of the time I am pretty happy that I will not be around for the disasters that I fear will be coming about.

Sneaky way to let you all know it's my birthday!  I am so happy to be in good health, although of course slowing down a lot, and living with great people.  I count myself extremely fortunate.
Rosina: a belated happy birthday to you.  I knew you were due to catch up to me.
birthday
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Post  sanderson on 8/24/2015, 11:21 pm

Three (3) days of 101*F followed by 7 days in the 90s. Maybe we are through with the killer heat. rofl

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Post  sanderson on 8/25/2015, 9:52 am


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Post  Kelejan on 8/25/2015, 2:01 pm

That's scary, sanderson.

I started to read some of the comments but gave up as most of them were aweful.
It seems many people have no love for California or for others and wish all the inhabitants to sink into the sea.

To me it seems a good rethink is in order as to what to do for the long-term.  But I fear humans as a group are incapable, although many individuasl would have solutions. e.g. Geoff Lawton and people like him.
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Post  sanderson on 8/27/2015, 2:16 am

I did an experiment with 2 outdoor thermometers (they read the same under identical conditions) to see the cooling effects of plants.  This one is under shade 24/7, about 100*F: California's Drought - Page 8 Effect10
This one at almost 10 degrees cooler is nestled among pepper, tomato and parsley plants in a 2' Table Top. California's Drought - Page 8 Effect11
Half the plants are in the sun and the other plants are under 75% shade cloth from HD: California's Drought - Page 8 Effect12

No wonder why our pets like to snooze in the flower beds and livestock prefer grassy pasture or trees to bare dirt.

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Post  sanderson on 8/27/2015, 2:29 am

Conserving water.  My beds all drain at the juncture of the plywood bottoms and 2x4 sides especially if they aren't level.  There are plenty of drain holes so this extra loss of water bothers me.  I did an experimental caulking to see if I could stop this water movement.  I used blue painter's tape to keep it neat and a 1" plastic putty knife to spread and push the bead of silicon deep.  Remove the tape and a clean bead is left.  I really, really don't want to empty the beds to caulk from the inside, so I'm really happy it works.  Premium Silicone Glue, clear, sun/freeze proof.  Staged with pieces of blue tape as demonstration: California's Drought - Page 8 Silico10

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Post  yolos on 8/27/2015, 9:12 am

Wow, quite a difference in temps under shade.  I am going to try to plant a fall garden and need some shade.  Could you please post the model number or a link to the specific shade cloth you are using.  I looked on HD website but there are too many types of shade cloth and I can't decide which would be better.


Your caulking looks very well done.  Hope it helps and lasts.
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Post  Yardslave on 8/27/2015, 11:38 am

I have shaded my tomatoes and zucchini with the 75% shade material and it really makes a difference in both water savings and in production. After years of trials with different varieties, I have narrowed it down to the most productive ones in my region, but they all have one thing in common that I didn't take into consideration-once the temps go above 90 degrees, tomatoes won't throw fruit and the zuccs droop and become shock prone to rot at the petal end of the fruit. I have tripled the crop yield with the shade material and also I think that the 3" of mulch really helped keep water more available. I also changed my drip watering by monitoring soil moisture and now I stagger the times; a 4 min soak at 4 am.  then I added another lighter shot at 3 am. when the moisture level starts to drop too low because of high soil temps that go on until later in the evening.
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Post  sanderson on 8/27/2015, 1:56 pm

Yolos,  This is the one I bought and I'm very happy with it.  The Harvest Wheat is tan with green and brown threads.  http://www.homedepot.com/p/Easy-Gardener-6-ft-x-50-ft-Harvest-Wheat-Sun-Screen-Shade-Cloth-72350D/202251733

YS, I would be interested in the varieties that you have found to work in our "desert" summer climate. I've got the spinach narrowed: NZ. Very Happy

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Post  sanderson on 8/28/2015, 3:32 am

Wait for it, wait, Saturday is almost here . . . Some heat relief starting Saturday and for the following 9 days. This will give us a chance to venture out into the gardens to ascertain the damage, see what can stay and produce more, what is hopeless, and plan for fall gardens.

Fresno (me, in the middle of the Central Valley) - 94F*, followed by 87-92
Yuba City (northern valley) 85*F, followed by 90-83
Elk Grove (just south of Sacramento in the Delta) 86F*, followed by the 80s
Rocklin (east of Sac towards Tahoe Lake) 88F*, followed by 86-92
San Mateo (coastal just south of SF) 75F*, followed by the 70s, lucky folks, always nice!
Carmel Valley (inner coastal valley) 79F*, followed by the 70s
Palm Desert (desert between LA and Las Vegas, sort of) Opps, 111*F  What a Face  107 down to 97
San Gabriel  (east LA) 94F*, followed by 88-78
San Diego (southern CA where Mel lives) 83F*, followed by the 70s

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Post  Marc Iverson on 8/28/2015, 4:25 am

I am interested in seeing more of the top of your gardens. We have seen a lot of regular shots, but fewer of your cloth-shaded areas. I'm really curious how much you've found the shade cloths to help year-by-year. I guess I have only a partial understanding of how much you've shaded and how much improvement it has made?
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Post  sanderson on 8/28/2015, 5:02 am

Marc, my backyard is such an awful mess. Once clean and calm, it is a hodge podge of projects dropped due to the heat. Another problem is that the yard is small so it's hard to back up to take a photo. Sort of like someone on a 3rd story balcony taking photos of a group. Opps. The shading is so darn critical for summer. I had pale green sheers on some individual boxes. Then I made 2 large muslin shade cloths with grommets but the weight just sagged on the lines. I now have a 6' x 25' HD 75% shade cloth up that is much lighter weight. So with sheers, muslin and shade cloth, bald spots in the lawn and foot high grass elsewhere, I'm embarrassed. I'll see what I can do photo-wise on Sat when it will be cooler.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 8/28/2015, 12:14 pm

@sanderson wrote:Three (3) days of 101*F followed by 7 days in the 90s.  Maybe we are through with the killer heat.  rofl
Please Dear God.... make it so!
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Post  sanderson on 8/28/2015, 3:38 pm

Audrey, There you are! happy hi I have thought of you all week with the temps and the wild fire. Hope all is well.

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Post  kauairosina on 8/28/2015, 3:45 pm

My sincere regards to all of you in that hot, hot country.  We are currently blessed with overcast weather and a break in the heat (from 86 to 79).  We are watching out for our possible hurricane visitors, Ignacio and Jimeneze.  Getting some rain in advance.  Lettuce and lettuce cutworms loving it.  We are considering making little barriers around new starts out of paper towel rolls or PVC.
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Post  sanderson on 8/28/2015, 6:42 pm

Marc, Here's today's photo.  Still a work in progress because it looks tacky. California's Drought - Page 8 Shade_13

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Post  Marc Iverson on 8/28/2015, 7:19 pm

What's in those pots on the table?

Looks like the sun shade makes a remarkable difference, to tell from the shadows on the ground.
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Post  yolos on 8/28/2015, 7:24 pm

Sanderson - I am going to start planting my fall veggies tomorrow.  So, I had to find a shade cloth quick.  Home Depot did not have any of your variety in stock but Lowes had the same brand in 6 feet x 40 feet.  Since my current garden is 32 feet long, this should work for me.  My question is - Did you try putting grommets in your shade cloth or did you use something else to attach it to poles/wood whatever.  I have a lot of big clips to attach it to the 3/4 EMT trellises and jumbo binder clips to attach it to 1/2 inch PVC.  Just wondering if grommets would work better or would they weaken the cloth.
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Post  sanderson on 8/28/2015, 7:45 pm

I have not installed any grommets in the 75% shad cloth. Just using camo cord and binder clips. Next test, gommets and wind. Will they hold or tear through?

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Post  kauairosina on 8/28/2015, 8:22 pm

wonder why I can't see Sanderson's picture?
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Post  kauairosina on 8/28/2015, 8:23 pm

oops, now it came up.
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Post  Yardslave on 8/29/2015, 5:07 pm

OOps! I meant to say a 4 min. soak at 4 am, and another shot at 3 pm. 

As for the heat tolerant tomatoes:
-Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes-
-Early Girl- high output, less prone to cracking
-Costaluto Genovese- best for sauces and juice
-Burpee's Heatmaster- 
-Beefmaster
-Hawaiian Tropic- a huge "slicer"!
Here's a good source of info and products that can survive the heat:TAP THIS
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Post  sanderson on 8/29/2015, 7:52 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:What's in those pots on the table?
 4 eggplants on the wood benches with lemon grass on the ground

Looks like the sun shade makes a remarkable difference, to tell from the shadows on the ground.
Definitely

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Post  sanderson on 9/14/2015, 2:52 pm

Fresno - light rain/heavy sprinkles right now. What is happening in other areas? Any rain helping put out the fires?

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Post  Yardslave on 9/14/2015, 4:01 pm

I'm still looking at parched ground here in Carmel Valley. We get a break from the heat with late night coastal fog, but the weatherman says nothing in the way of rain, just clouds and high humidity passing over ( headed for Cantral Califonia). My squash plants and chard are showing signs of powdery mildew from the humidity and last weeks heat shock. It's strange, but the winds brought us lots of smoke from North- the sun was red all day yesterday. I'm holding off planting a fall crop for another two weeks hoping a fall weather pattern settles in.
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