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Shading seedlings questions--help requested

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Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  cpl100 on 7/16/2012, 5:14 pm

I came back from my weekend away to find that a few things have finally sprouted (cucumber, lettuce, green bean, chard, cauliflower)

I read all over the board here about people shading their seedlings. Some mention tulle and others mention cheesecloth. I recall one poster stating clipped cheesecloth to hoops made out of wire coat hangers.

I am fairly certain there is no place other than a fabric store to obtain tulle. (Please correct if erroneous.) However, where do you all get cheesecloth? If you buy it at a cooking store it is pretty expensive so I was wondering if there's some secret gardener's source to ease up on the price.

Also, do ALL seedlings need to be shaded (or do best when shaded)? And do you only shade them once they have pushed through the soil? The reason I ask is that the easiest thing to do would be to get tulle and put it over the cage I made to keep animals from the box (like in the book). But not everything has sprouted yet so that wouldn't work if I had to wait for everything to sprout first.

Thanks!
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  nelstango on 7/16/2012, 5:52 pm

I found cheesecloth at Menards in the painting section. By the dropcloths.
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  CarolynPhillips on 7/16/2012, 6:21 pm

you only have to shade during extreme heat to help keep the surface soil moist and sometimes shade is good for cool crops if you will be growing them for a short while during summer heat until the weather cools off.
some gardeners use thin sheets while germinating.
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  squaredeal on 7/16/2012, 6:26 pm

I'm pretty sure you can get cheesecloth and burlap by the yard at the fabric store (JoAnn's) too, in the utility cloth section.
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/16/2012, 6:42 pm

I've seen tulle at our local Super Wal-Mart.

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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  cpl100 on 7/16/2012, 7:53 pm

Oh, we have a Walmart (it's not a 'super') but I'll check there before JoAnn's since it's probably cheaper there.
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  llama momma on 7/16/2012, 7:57 pm

I got a roll of burlap at a nursery, I love the stuff. Tulle is so fine I wouldn't bother with it in my humble opinion. It's great for keeping moths from laying eggs though. I'm going to estimate it decreases full sunlight by about 10% at best. Burlap I estimate gives about 35% shade. My plants are doing real well with it, again, I love the stuff.
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  walshevak on 7/16/2012, 8:09 pm

I agree, tulle for bugs but burlap or cheesecloth for shade.

Kay

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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 10:17 am

@CarolynPhillips wrote:you only have to shade during extreme heat to help keep the surface soil moist and sometimes shade is good for cool crops if you will be growing them for a short while during summer heat until the weather cools off.
some gardeners use thin sheets while germinating.

lettuce, beans, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, beets 80 - 90*, well watered.

What do you suggest, shade them or not?
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  camprn on 7/17/2012, 10:21 am

I don't think you need to shade the plant, but they may benefit from an inch of mulch atop the soil. The beans and chard probably do not any protection mulch.

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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 10:27 am

@camprn wrote:I don't think you need to shade the plant, but they may benefit from an inch of mulch atop the soil. The beans and chard probably do not any protection mulch.

Somehow I am thinking this is more complicated than adding the brown mulch I have around my flowers. You mean something else, right? Because that stuff is kind of rough and big....
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  camprn on 7/17/2012, 10:51 am

@cpl100 wrote:
@camprn wrote:I don't think you need to shade the plant, but they may benefit from an inch of mulch atop the soil. The beans and chard probably do not any protection mulch.

Somehow I am thinking this is more complicated than adding the brown mulch I have around my flowers. You mean something else, right? Because that stuff is kind of rough and big....
If you have some you can use the shredded bark mulch, it just sits atop the soil and is pretty easy to remove when you need to. The little bits that stay in the garden are alright; I would not recommend turning the shredded bark much into the garden soil/Mel's Mix at the end of the season. Very Happy

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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  yolos on 7/17/2012, 11:44 am

I used three different types of mulch around my plants this year - shredded wheat straw, shredded leaves, and shredded bark. By far the best mulch is the shredded bark. It looks pretty sitting on top of the soil, it allows water to penetrate easily into the soil, it keeps the water in the soil from evaporating, and is free of weed seeds. The shredded straw introduced some wheat seeds into the bed, does not allow the water to penetrate easily through the straw into the soil, and turns an ugly brownish/gray color after it sits awhile. The shredded leaves kept the weeds out of the bed but absorbed a lot of water and kept the water from penetrating easily down into the soil.
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  CharlesB on 7/17/2012, 12:00 pm

How much do you have to cover?

You can always break off a branch from a nearby leafy bush and stick it in the soil. It is like a mini tree giving shade to the seedling.

You can also use meat skewers and pieces of cardboard. Fix them to give shade during the hottest parts of the day. Morning and evening sun won't hurt them.

I got my cheese cloth at a fabric store.
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  camprn on 7/17/2012, 12:24 pm

Great ideas Charles!!! okay

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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  quiltbea on 7/17/2012, 12:30 pm

This time of the season, in zone 5a, I shade my cool-weather crops with cheesecloth. I want the sunshine to penetrate, but not too much of it. Things like lettuce, spinach, radishes, broccoli, cauli, and cabbages usually benefit. Alas, we had too many 90 plus days much too early this spring and my broccoli, except for a couple Packmans, bolted along with the cauliflowers. Cabbage and other greens are still doing well under cheesecloth but not for much longer, I think. Next year I'll start my cool crops sooner and protect them with heavy row cover if needed.


Cabbages under cheesecloth above. If you have trouble with flea beetles, cover your cabbages with lightweight row cover instead.

I get tulle, netting for isolation bags, and cheesecloth by the yard at Jo-Ann's or Wal-mart. Try any fabric outlet. My lightweight and heavy row covers I get from johnnyseeds.com.
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/17/2012, 12:43 pm

I have 2 boxes of leafies and such under burlap clipped with clothes pins to bamboo arches. I take it off in the evening or morning to water and allow full sun in, then cover them up completely mid morning before going to work. I also have some squares of newly planted seeds of carrots, radishes & beets under the burlap (upper left of photo). They all seem to be doing well.





All my summer veggies are out in fill sun, with some older lettuces, beets, carrots & radishes.

CC

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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 1:59 pm

Thanks for those posts. I see quiltbea is 5a and CapeCoddess is 6a as am I, though I am not as close to the ocean as she is.

I am going to make a couple phone calls to find the shading material. I am not certain as to when to put it up, though. I thought it was for when the seeds are sprouting and tender but I see CC plants are considerably bigger (YUM!) than that. So do I put them up later? Or do I put it up now and leave it up?

Also, my garden gets mostly afternoon sun...not as much in the morning due to location (but it is in the spot with the most sun available). Will my garden still get enough sun with the cover? Is one cover better than another in this situation? What about the other plants that are also planted in my (one) box such as carrots, beans and beets? The easiest would be to lob a cover on them all but I am learning that the easy way is never the way it seems to be best...... Rolling Eyes

Can you believe I have four gardening books (in addition to ANSFG) to consult here and still find myself in such a quandry daily???


Last edited by cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 2:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 2:14 pm

@CharlesB wrote:How much do you have to cover?

You can always break off a branch from a nearby leafy bush and stick it in the soil. It is like a mini tree giving shade to the seedling.

You can also use meat skewers and pieces of cardboard. Fix them to give shade during the hottest parts of the day. Morning and evening sun won't hurt them.

I got my cheese cloth at a fabric store.

I own one 4 x 4 box and some pots. My plants don't get a lot of sun until the sun is high in the sky due to location. I am sure that makes a difference, but exactly what difference it makes I am uncertain.

Today, although very hot (98 according to my phone), it was all cloud cover until about an hour ago. The sun has finally peeped out to grow my tomatoes. (I believe it is the sun, not the warmth, that actually grows and ripens them if I have digested the information correctly.)
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  llama momma on 7/17/2012, 2:21 pm

I have burlap shading seedlings and protecting adult plants. It is placed so plants have shade from noon till sundown when it's in the mid 90's like today and yesterday. I have critter covers and clothes pins to keep things in place.
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  quiltbea on 7/17/2012, 2:21 pm

Afternoon sun is stronger than morning sun. As long as they get 6 hrs or more of sunlight, they should do well.

Once they're covered, I keep mine up all the time since its cheesecloth. If it gets really hot, I just put 2 layers of cheesecloth over the crops. And they stay on during all their growth during the heat of summer. All plants need sunshine, but some don't want too much heat.

I don't cover the squares when they are first seeded. The seeds need the heat to germinate. Seeds require more heat to germinate than is needed for later growth. I cover them when they gain some good size and NEED the protection from too much sun.

After you've been doing this awhile, you'll know when your cool crops need shading against the heat or new transplants need protection from too much sunlight their first few days after transplanting. Your heat-loving crops will just soak it all up. Tomatoes like heat but too many days in the 90s will slow down and even halt their blossoming until it cools off a little. Among those you normally don't have to shade are corn, beans, Swiss chard, turnip, beets, parsnips, squashes, melons, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.
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Re: Shading seedlings questions--help requested

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 2:34 pm

@quiltbea wrote:

After you've been doing this awhile, you'll know when your cool crops need shading against the heat or new transplants need protection from too much sunlight their first few days after transplanting.


From your lips to God's ears as the saying goes.... I hope this innate knowledge will occur next year rather than in ten years, though!

Thanks you all!
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