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Hoops for narrow beds?

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Re: Hoops for narrow beds?

Post  jazzycat on 3/17/2013, 3:57 pm

There are some great ideas here. Since I'm new to all of this, I think it will save me from making some mistakes. YAY!

So are these covers for bugs, or heat, or both? How long do you leave the covers on? Do you use them at night, when bugs are likely to get to them? Or during the hottest part of the day, to give the plants some shade? Or a combination of both? Is it possible to just leave them on all the time? If you use them during the day (for shade and cooling purposes) can the light still reach them so they get enough? Also, did you say getting the covers wet helps keep the plants cool during the hottest part of the day? I'm growing a lot of tomatoes, and I really would like to try and keep them producing all summer, hence all the questions.

I apologize for all the questions, but since I will be building my beds in the next couple of weeks, I would like to know what all I should be doing, so I save myself from having to do more work later and save my plants from suffering bugs and heat. Thanks bunches!

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Re: Hoops for narrow beds?

Post  Turan on 3/17/2013, 4:43 pm

In GA would wet shade cloth cool anything? It works in dry climates, but does it in humid climates? I used this trick in near desert and suggested it to Gunny in also near desert. I have never lived in a humid place.

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Re: Hoops for narrow beds?

Post  Coelli on 3/17/2013, 7:31 pm

jazzycat wrote:So are these covers for bugs, or heat, or both? How long do you leave the covers on?

This is just tulle (the very fine netting they make things like wedding veils from), so it doesn't provide any shade at all; it's strictly to keep the bugs off (especially in the seedling stage). Smile I leave it on all the time and only raise it when I'm working in a bed, and just slide up the part I need.

Later in the summer I'll put shade cloth over the hoops instead of the tulle, especially over the stuff that doesn't like heat (greens, etc).

I am growing my tomatoes in 5-gallon buckets this year so when it starts getting too hot, I can move them to the side of the house so they get afternoon shade. That's the plan for now. That's if I don't decide to drape shade cloth over all of them!
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Re: Hoops for narrow beds?

Post  jazzycat on 3/17/2013, 9:24 pm

Turan, I have no idea. I guess it's something to think about. But I would think shade would cool that plants off, since it can be as much as 10-15 cooler in the shade.

Coelli, bugs are a big problem here, so I'll probably do what you did and use some fabric. Luckily, I have a ton of tulle laying around. Very Happy It is the kind with bigger holes though, so I might have to splurge on some of the finer stuff. It's cheap though, so it shouldn't be a problem.

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Re: Hoops for narrow beds?

Post  Coelli on 3/17/2013, 11:58 pm

It sounds like you might sew? I used muslin last year to shade my beds since I already had a bunch of it. Laughing It only lasted one season, but that was all I needed it to! This year I'll price shade cloth and if it's too much, it'll be off to Joann again with a 40% off coupon - or maybe even the thrift store for some sheets! Razz
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Re: Hoops for narrow beds?

Post  CindiLou on 3/18/2013, 4:04 pm

Thrift stores are good for sheer curtains. Those work great for shade if you don't buy the official stuff. I used it to shade my tomatoes last summer.
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Re: Hoops for narrow beds?

Post  Coelli on 3/18/2013, 6:17 pm

I wonder if the sheer curtains could hold up to the sun here? We go through a car cover a year because the sun eats the fabric thin in the summer and then the fall winds finish it off. Sad
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Re: Hoops for narrow beds?

Post  jazzycat on 3/18/2013, 8:47 pm

Coelli wrote:It sounds like you might sew? I used muslin last year to shade my beds since I already had a bunch of it. Laughing It only lasted one season, but that was all I needed it to! This year I'll price shade cloth and if it's too much, it'll be off to Joann again with a 40% off coupon - or maybe even the thrift store for some sheets! Razz

It would be more accurate to say I "attempt" to sew. Very Happy I have yards and yards of different kinds of fabric laying around though, because I like to use it for decorating. Lots of lightweight, sheer, light colored fabrics, in addition to other stuff as well.

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Re: Hoops for narrow beds?

Post  jazzycat on 3/18/2013, 8:49 pm

How exactly do you shade tomatoes? They get so tall, it seems like a row cover like the one pictured wouldn't really work. Would it? hmmmm...

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Re: Hoops for narrow beds?

Post  Coelli on 3/18/2013, 11:31 pm

jazzycat wrote:How exactly do you shade tomatoes? They get so tall, it seems like a row cover like the one pictured wouldn't really work. Would it? hmmmm...

Here's how I did my tomatoes this year - there are 8 or 9 in the picture, but I have a total of 12:



I figure if I just put them in 2 rows of 6 and drape the shade cloth over all of the supports, it should work. Smile I hope...
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