Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Shade screen Toplef10Shade screen 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Shade screen I22gcj10Shade screen 14dhcg10

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CapeCoddess
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Post  MollyL 6/8/2015, 12:34 pm

Am having some concerns with the hot sun in the afternoons (Tuscaloosa, AL) on some of my plants (mainly peppers and tomatoes (tomatoes because I am removing the suckers)).  Looking for ideas for shade screens.  Am thinking about pvc and cheesecloth.  Priced some shadescreen (40%) but it was expensive.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?
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Post  CapeCoddess 6/8/2015, 3:11 pm

Cheesecloth is perfect. I've used wide weave burlap, cardboard, opaque plastic bags clothes pinned to chicken wire or bamboo posts and so on. Right now I have a window screen over some seeds so they don't dry out so fast.

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Post  sanderson 6/8/2015, 3:14 pm

Molly,  Folks use all kinds of materials for shading against the summer sun.  Just type Shade in the search box for several topics.  For cheap, re-purpose light material such as light sheets, curtain sheers.  Estate or garage sales for a couple dollars, Craig's List, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.

Bolt of curtain sheer material cut for each box.  Open on the East side, shaded on the West and overhead.  Peppers under frame for winter greenhouse: Shade screen Shade_10
More peppers and herbs, flowers: Shade screen Shade_11

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Post  momvet 6/8/2015, 10:53 pm

I am so confused about when I should shade my plants. All the summer veg are supposed to need full sun, but I am now realizing that my first pole beans probably got fried. They started out great, but became yellow and crispy on the bottom. My tomatoes in beds are being aggressively single stemmed and I know they won't have the "coverage" that my previous tomatoes did. It was 102 today and there will be more to come. I will research the previous posts but WHEN do I cover and uncover the plants? Is it only for the hottest part of the day or constantly? How do the full sun veg get enough UV? My container lettuce and carrots have been doing well under my patio cover, but I knew they weren't meant for our hot summers anyway. blush
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Post  sanderson 6/9/2015, 3:30 am

Kathy, You can cover now and basically leave them on until August, maybe even Sept. Sunshine, temperature and wind can all dry out leaves. Right now, we at lower latitudes have direct sun and hot weather. a killer combination. The only thing worse is the Santa Ana winds with all 3 at once!! You will be giving shade, not totally wrapping. You will be using something semi-transparent so some sun will get through. (My photo #2) Provide that for your plants that are scorching or struggling. Drape some over on the West side for protection from the worst of the day. (my photo #2) It is open on the east and largely protected on the West. The house provides protection from the northern sun. Photo #1 shows the draping doesn't go all the way down so breeze (ha) can go through.

Regarding your beans, the lower leaves commonly yellow and fall off. I may have lost the beans in one small box today. I will clip sheers on all the trellises' tops and let them fall down over on the hottest sides. In fact, even tomatoes will get protection now.

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Post  Razed Bed 6/9/2015, 11:07 am

Also, try using a light-colored mulch that reflects the sun.  It will cool the soil temperatures and help retain moisture.

If you have a paper shredder, I can think of no better use for your daily fish wrap than to use it as mulch, since it has little other value these days.  It should reflect well, hold in the moisture, and stay in place for a few months.  Also, it composts (maybe because most newspapers are full of crap).

Shade cloth is really expensive these days.  I cannot imagine having to purchase the amount of cheesecloth needed to cover our garden. 

When the temperature reaches above 100, we start using our white cotton sheets that we use for frost protection and turn on a sprinkler to keep the sheets wet during the hottest part of the day.  It does cut down on sunshine, but it is the lesser of the two evils.
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Post  momvet 6/13/2015, 11:47 am

I realize that I need to do this NOW, but don't have the $ for shade cloth (spent it all on Mel's Mix Razz) or any kind of support. Is sheer fabric from a fabric store OK? Can I just sort of lay it over the plants? It has been blessedly overcast recently. One thing I am thrilled about is that the combo of MM and straw mulch seems to really be holding the moisture. Guess I picked a good time to convert to SFG (drought).
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Post  sanderson 6/13/2015, 5:12 pm

Old sheers, old white/light sheets. Salvation Army, Goodwill, back of your linen closet, garage sales. I just bought 44" white muslin from Joann's with a 50% off coupon that is good through Saturday, today. You can print it off the computer. A new coupon will come out Sunday. Rethinking, the muslin was already 50% off and I used the coupon for something else. Sheer material is lighter weight if you are just going to set it on the plant. I already have structural supports over all my beds but I have supplemented certain plants with tomato cages and longer bamboo sticks so I can stick my head in to tend to the plants.

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Post  quiltbea 6/13/2015, 7:11 pm

Do you have any old window screens hanging around the garage?  They work great for sun shade.  In Fla they use them all the time.
Anything you can find that makes a barrier between the plants and the western sun will work, even flattened cardboard boxes, old sheets, old tee shirts.  You can use the spring-type clothes pins to pin them to bamboo stakes or your present trellises or fence poles to provide the barrier.  Even duct tape will work.
If you leave them on the west side which is the hotter sun and longer time in the sun, it should help.  Leaving the eastern side open to the early morning sunshine should give you plenty of UV rays for your plants.
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Post  sanderson 6/13/2015, 7:18 pm

Or jumbo black binder clips at Office Supply. We just came inside from hanging the last 8 yard-long shade on the West side. I am dripping. We are having Santa Ana conditions = direct sun, super hot and windy.

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Post  quiltbea 6/13/2015, 11:09 pm

You're right sanderson, those black clips are marvelous.  I use them on thicker things, like 1 x 2"s and thick stakes and to hold plastic in place over frames.
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Post  sanderson 7/1/2015, 8:43 pm

I've been working on making muslin shade sails for the back yard, but they are so heavy.  8' x 12' and really sagging in the middle.  Now I'm considering a different design of a long piece 8' x 20-35' laid across ropes every 8'.  What would be a good block % to allow the plants to grow but for me to be able to go outside to tend them?  30%, 40% ?? It would stay up for 3-4 months during the summer.

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