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Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

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Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  point on 6/2/2013, 3:31 pm

We have had August-like heat for the past three days. Could my MM be the problem? It's a standard recipe except for some (not the whole 1/3) extra-coarse vermiculite. What to do?

This is a full-sun set of beds, and last year my problem was having located the beds in partial shade. This is my second year trying to grow vegetables and I just don't know what to do about all the drooping. I can't imagine how these plants can possibly make it through the summer.

I've used soaker hoses twice a day and some warm-water hand watering at midday during this heat (mid 80s). The plants revive, but they must be getting stressed. The peppers, eggplant, chard and cauliflower droop. The mint, sage, lavender and verbena are wet-handkerchief- limp. Onions, raspberries, and rhubarb are doing just fine. The lettuce, parsley, and radishes in the shady raised beds are crisp.

Any suggestions, please?

point

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Re: Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  yolos on 6/2/2013, 4:22 pm

Mulch.. stick your figure in the soil after watering and see if the water is going deep. Your bed should not be drying out in 80+* heat. If it is getting a good deep watering and still dries out, then add a lot of mulch or compost to the top of the bed. Not knowing exactly what your mix was, there is no way to tell what should be added to the mix to help it retain water.

Yes you can also use shade cloth but I don't think 80+* weather is so hot that it would make things wilt.

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Re: Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  brainchasm on 6/2/2013, 4:39 pm

Here in Las Vegas, where it's hot and arid over half the year, we have...The Tomato Lady.

She has forgotten more about gardening in general, and in the heat especially, than I will ever know. The Extension people come to HER for advice. And she has a pretty hard and fast rule:

She doesn't (as in doesn't believe in it, and thereby refuses to do so) shade ANYTHING.

She does however, mulch. And her new thing is silver-mylar mulch. Mylar that reflects light BACK up through the plant again, and even the heat, but it PROTECTS THE ROOTS.

Think of it this way:

The green parts of a plant are a solar-powered hydrodynamic chemical factory. If they don't want so much light, they fold up leaves. If they don't want to lose so much water, they close their stomata. You get the picture...the green parts have ways of moderating and mitigating their environment.

Now the roots, they're a different story. If a root doesn't want to be so hot, it...sits in the soil, bakes, and dies. Because it can't do anything. If a root wants to lose less water to dry soil, it...sits in the ground, dries out, and dies, because they can't DO anything.

You're a thousand times better off protecting the roots from extremes, rather than the green itself.

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Re: Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  HiDesert on 6/4/2013, 2:34 am

@brainchasm wrote:Here in Las Vegas, where it's hot and arid over half the year, we have...The Tomato Lady.

She has forgotten more about gardening in general, and in the heat especially, than I will ever know. The Extension people come to HER for advice. And she has a pretty hard and fast rule:

She doesn't (as in doesn't believe in it, and thereby refuses to do so) shade ANYTHING.

She does however, mulch. And her new thing is silver-mylar mulch. Mylar that reflects light BACK up through the plant again, and even the heat, but it PROTECTS THE ROOTS.

Think of it this way:

The green parts of a plant are a solar-powered hydrodynamic chemical factory. If they don't want so much light, they fold up leaves. If they don't want to lose so much water, they close their stomata. You get the picture...the green parts have ways of moderating and mitigating their environment.

Now the roots, they're a different story. If a root doesn't want to be so hot, it...sits in the soil, bakes, and dies. Because it can't do anything. If a root wants to lose less water to dry soil, it...sits in the ground, dries out, and dies, because they can't DO anything.

You're a thousand times better off protecting the roots from extremes, rather than the green itself.

I live in the desert too. It doesn't get as hot as las vegas but there is plenty of 100+ days. Thanks for posting this, I am going to try it this summer.

HiDesert

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Re: Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/4/2013, 3:17 pm

Point, glad you\'re here
Bet your veggies are doing better now that that heat wave has past. If you want more info for your region you can scroll down on the home page to regional forums and click into the New England section. We like to post about everything month by month so the June thread may be a good starting point for your questions.

If you've already done that and I missed your posts, oh so sorry... Rolling Eyes

What a Face
CC

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Re: Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 6/5/2013, 12:26 am

Well, I'm not the tomato lady, but we live in an area that has already had several weeks at or over 100 degrees and most of our summer will be spent there.

I have added 2-4" of wood chips mulch to all of my gardens and the temps of the soil under the mulch is significantly cooler and it stays uniformly moist so the plants aren't getting stressed.

I added old window sheers to a couple of my boxes that I wanted to grow lettuce in the heat in and it's working well. I also added some sheer fabric over the top of a large box I have (5' x 10') and frankly, everything is growing really well and loving it. I know I'm happier out of the blistering sun and my plants seem to be as well :-)

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Re: Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  sanderson on 6/5/2013, 12:52 am

Hot here in Fresno. This morning I put my new blond Playground Bark in the boxes and containers. This afternoon I scientifically checked the soil temps with my finger and there is a significant difference. Glad I found the Bark before this Saturday. Supposed to be 106.

I'm a newbie but I think that the cool weather plants like lettuce would like a little shade. I love the curtain sheer idea.

sanderson

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Re: Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  boffer on 6/5/2013, 12:57 am

@sanderson wrote:...This afternoon I scientifically checked the soil temps with my finger and there is a significant difference....
good job! 'Closies' are good enough!

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Re: Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/5/2013, 6:10 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:
I added old window sheers to a couple of my boxes that I wanted to grow lettuce in the heat in and it's working well.

Audrey, what's the name of the lettuces are you growing?

CC

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Re: Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 6/6/2013, 2:36 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:
I added old window sheers to a couple of my boxes that I wanted to grow lettuce in the heat in and it's working well.

"Audrey, what's the name of the lettuces are you growing?"

CC
I have several varieties that I'm growing:
Red Romaine
Romaine
Mesclun Mix (not all the varieties in this mix handle the heat)
Oak leaf

My Mesclun mix grew for almost 6 months and provided a LOT of salad. I pick them as baby greens, leaving only one or two leaves at the most. I plant thickly, 2 or 3 times the recommended amount because I pick them small. When something even begins to think about bolting (starts to stretch out and shoot up), I cut it to the ground and have often gotten a renewed plant or even 2 or 3 new plants out of the single base.

I'm trying out a new blend called Rocky Top Lettuce Salad from Baker Creek.
I've heard people that have grown it down to 22 degrees with no protection but I don't know about heat.

I don't know much, I'm just experimenting!
aj

PS we'll be seeing temps of 107 this weekend, so my experiments may come to a crashing end... or not... it depends upon the weather gods.

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Re: Do I add shade for wilting vegetables and herbs?

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/6/2013, 12:28 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:
PS we'll be seeing temps of 107 this weekend, so my experiments may come to a crashing end... or not... it depends upon the weather gods.

Ooo...that'll be interesting. Let us know please?

CC

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