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Shade Fabric

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Shade Fabric

Post  stringbean28 on 6/8/2013, 2:34 am

Today I lost one of my watermelon plants (out of 5 different ones) to the 114 degree Arizona heat. Sad I'm thinking I need some type of shade cloth to cover the rest of the garden. Any suggestions? I've heard that gardening fabric should only block the sun 40 to 50%, and I couldn't find anything at Lowe's or Home Depot less than 75% blocking. Do you all think this is true? Also - where can I get sun blocking fabric that's only 40 to 50% blocking? Thanks. thanks

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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  boffer on 6/8/2013, 9:25 am

Shade Material Buyer's Guide by FarmTek

I've had excellent service from this company.
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  Triciasgarden on 6/8/2013, 11:27 am

If you haven't done this yet, you may also want to mulch your beds. It will keep the soil cooler which will help some. There are others who have used shade cloth in Arizona with great success. I don't envy your heat, lol!
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Thanks

Post  stringbean28 on 6/8/2013, 10:52 pm

I added more cedar mulch to the boxes around the plants. I will also check out Farmtek. Thanks.

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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  jimmy cee on 6/8/2013, 11:02 pm

What about mulch covering the SFG beds?
Are there any negative's as far as being eventually stirred into the mix ?
I've been using shredded newspaper for the past few years with good results, but not in SFG beds.
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Compost

Post  stringbean28 on 6/8/2013, 11:20 pm

Jimmy: I'd be careful about the chemicals in the ink in the newspaper mulch. It doesn't sound very organic to mix those chemicals in with your garden veggies.

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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  brainchasm on 6/8/2013, 11:52 pm

stringbean28 wrote:Jimmy: I'd be careful about the chemicals in the ink in the newspaper mulch. It doesn't sound very organic to mix those chemicals in with your garden veggies.
IIRC, newspaper inks have been soy-based for quite some time now. Should be fine.

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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 6/9/2013, 12:58 am

Someone here suggested to me that I use window sheers for filtering the light. I happened to have some old ones from a previous house as well as a large length of sheer fabric and I put them on my garden a couple months ago.

Today we were well over 105 degrees and it was miserable. The veggies that were in the filtered sun did not wilt at all, the others were wilted in the heat during the hottest part of the day. I've been really happy with the results thus far as we've had long stretches of heat already and it's just June!

I also have 2-4 inches of wood chip mulch on all my gardens which keeps the moisture levels consistent and the temps cooler.
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  jimmy cee on 6/9/2013, 10:18 am

It's my understanding, all newsprint (not colored) is being processed by water based paints,.
After doing some extensive research on this, I've decided to go with it, does a nice job and cant beat the price. The end of the season I just remove the remaining material and toss it in the compost pile.
I use card board in my compost also, it's recommended.
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  schristi69 on 6/9/2013, 3:31 pm

Arizona Bag Company here has 40% and 50% shade cloth, but it is 10ft wide and you have to buy a minimum of 10 yards. Geeeeeze. I ordered a 6' x 16' section from FarmTek. Price was not THAT bad since I cannot find it anyplace else. You would think you could find this stuff at every nursery here in the valley.

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local shade company

Post  stringbean28 on 6/10/2013, 12:39 pm

Schristi - I agree this should be easier to find locally. I will check out this arizona bag company. Most of the online suppliers want 3 to 4 weeks leadtime to fill an order like this - which seems too long. No

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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  schristi69 on 6/10/2013, 1:33 pm

Here is an old thread discussing the local stuff. It is old, but might still be good info. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/azgard/msg0612512714562.html

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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 6/10/2013, 11:35 pm

Update on my lettuce and spinach after the heat wave. We were at or over 105 for 3 days.

1. spinach - I lost the spinach that was planted in december, but it was ready to go anyway. The younger spinach that is planted under other plants is still doing okay.

2. My red roman lettuce was starting to go (also planted in December) and the heat pretty much has sealed its fate, but I cut them back to near the ground an we'll see.

3.. My lettuce that is growing in the heavy shade of a fruitless plum is still doing well and growing.

4. Nothing else went bitter or is bolting. The shade cloth appears to be working perfectly for helping me grow lettuce year around.
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  Gunny on 6/20/2013, 11:59 pm

I am using telle for shade cloth in a double layer over my small beds. It was less than a dollar a yard at w-mart. It is working that is all I can say. This is the kind with the larger holes in it if that makes a difference. Originally got it for bug control, glad to have discovered another use. Hate single use items, such a waste of resources.
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  LittleGardener on 6/21/2013, 1:49 am

Gunny wrote:I am using telle for shade cloth in a double layer over my small beds. Less than a dollar a yard at w-mart. It is working
Thanks for the tip! Smile I found this: "Buy-The-Bolt-White Tulle, 54" Wide 25 Yards for $19.97"; now to find someone to buy at least half of that, lol
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  LittleGardener on 6/21/2013, 3:33 am

Silly me, posted in the SW Embarassed Desert-section. Sorry. in the PNWet, whenever do we get too much sun for too long, like we wish we had it more sunny to maintain our internal vit D stores.
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  lyndeeloo on 6/21/2013, 6:24 am

I use the material from window screens for shade. You can layer it to block more light as needed. I repair screens at work so I save some of the old fiberglass screen when its in good enough shape to use again. I prefer the fiberglass screen to the aluminum for this purpose, but you could use either one. It comes in handy for many purposes. You can buy it new or see if there is a screen and window repair company in your area that might just be throwing the old stuff away. Watch for people throwing out old window screens and you could have the frame as well. They also make a Pet Screen which is very heavy and will block more sunlight if needed. All of this material is very light weight, but strong and easy to work with. Since its designed for outdoor use it will last for many years. You can also use it to net plants from pests.
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  jimmy cee on 6/21/2013, 10:43 am

Lyndeeloo
Thats a great idea, thanks much.
Never considered using the old glass screens, it's gotta do a great job
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  p14175 on 6/26/2013, 3:44 pm

I just started sq ft gardening in the Mesa AZ area. So far so good. I messed up on a few things this spring, but I'm getting the hang of it.

For shade I am using cheese cloth. Walmart sells it for $0.77/yd, 36" wide. It appears to block about 40-50% if 2 layers are used and the white reflects the bright light as well. Right now I have a temperature data logger (Lascar EL-USB-1) set about 4" above the soil under the shade to see how much cooler (if at all) it is under the cheese cloth.

I am using pine needles for mulch. The plants seem happy with it. We have a huge Allepo pine. It's a great shade tree but really messy so I am glad I can use its dropped needles for something other than taking up space in the green barrel.
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  schristi69 on 6/27/2013, 8:23 pm

Is there a recommended height for shade cloth? 6-7 feet high off of the plants? Lower? Do you have some hang over the sides? People should post some pics of their setups. I tried one year and stuff still fried. May have been the shade cloth I used or overwatering.....who knows. I have 50% shade cloth this year.

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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  walshevak on 6/28/2013, 7:05 am

I can't recommend shade cloth distance, but I can post this picture of a garden in the Philippines.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5518-lettuce-will-grow-in-the-philippines


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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  quiltbea on 6/28/2013, 10:50 am

When using shade cloth you can place it between the plants and the sun in some manner or you can hoop it over the plants.

Here's a small patch of cheesecloth over spinach and leaf lettuce using wire clothes hangers bent to shape and clothes pins.

Here's potted tomatoes with shade cloth between them and the sunshine.

Here's my main beds this week with cloth clipped to bamboo poles between sun and my tomatoes.  We are in Maine but were getting 90*F temps.

I lived in Florida many years ago and they braced old window screens between their plants and the sun.  They could easily be moved to the west side to deflect the later and hotter sun.  Others built wooden frames with window screens for the purpose.
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Re: Shade Fabric

Post  jkahn2eb on 7/14/2013, 11:26 am

Been many moons since I've visited this site!

Stringbean - I've been using shadecloth from Lowe's/Home Depot over my garden for two years and have had fantastic growth.  My tomato plants all look very healthy and green still.  Pepper plants are looking great. 

Pulled all my lettuces/spinach a few months ago.

Grew Ali Baba watermelon last summer and it vined all over the yard without shade cloth and was quite happy for the summer.  Is the one plant dying a different strain than the others you are growing?
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Re: Shade Fabric

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