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Under a desert shade cloth

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 6/14/2012, 10:40 am

1/3 SUMMER UPDATE

Almost all my seeds come from Baker Creek. Most of my plants get only 5 hrs of sun/day. Almost everything at this point is under a shade cloth.

Going extremely well in terms of production:
Eggplant, chinese red noodle beans, sunflowers (and how!), siam queen basil, cucumbers, marigolds, lillypot zinnias, swiss chard, malabar spinach, thyme, green onions

Plants look good but wondering where all the fruit is - minimal fruit:
Rattlesnake beans, bush blue beans, purple pod beans, zucchini, corn, garlic

Still too early to judge but looking good:
Honeydew, Ali Baba watermelon, cantaloupe

Holding on in the heat but not producing - will it last until fall?
3 types of tomatoes, some of which are flowering in the heat but I'm not expecting them to produce edible tomatoes until temps fall in mid-Sept


The sunflowers are attracting lots of bees to my garden, which makes me very happy. The bees look happier than pigs in ____. They are very small looking bees but there are normally two or three bees per flower and each sunflower plant has almost a dozen flowers blooming right now. We have three different sunflowers going: lemon, tiger and a mix. Lillypot zinnias remain my favorite flower I've grown. Marigolds are growing outside my garden in hard, non-watered areas outside my garden and are doing BETTER than those inside the garden. Amazing how nature thrives. I think mother nature is saying she can still do it better than I.


WINTER GARDEN UPDATE

I'll start these guys next month indoors - Broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, beets, lettuce, lettuce, lettuce, lettuce, lettuce, carrots, sugar snap peas
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  CharlesB on 6/14/2012, 1:50 pm

Good stuff jkahn2eb! You've got a beautiful oasis in your back yard.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 6/14/2012, 8:02 pm

Thanks. I'm learning a lot in my first full year of gardening... especially where to place plants based on height. Late fall, after the shade cloth has come down, I plan to put in some wood beams to hang plants from, allow plants to climb, and provide a sturdier structure to hold the shade cloth. It currently droops low in some areas making it tall for those of us over 6' to walk comfortably.

This thread is also my place to keep notes so I can check back.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  Miss Erica on 6/15/2012, 6:13 am

can you please post some pics of how you set up your shade cloth? I am thinking that perhaps I need to do that (living this close to the equator makes for very intense sun) but I am concerned about typhoons coming through and ripping out the shade cloth. How does your setup fare with the desert monsoon storms?
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  TejasTerry on 6/15/2012, 8:55 am

Your garden is just beautiful. I need to try those noodle beans. I am in South Texas, so our hot dry climate is probably close to yours.

I order everything from Baker Creek also.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 6/18/2012, 11:49 am

Miss Erica,

Here's what I've done so far:


The structure is built entirely out of 3/4" PVC pipe. It's not the sturdiest as you can see from the bend of the pipe. I'm no engineering expert but I know when building bridges and tall buildings they are designed to bend and sway.

To anchor the PVC pipe I pounded hollow metal stakes (these have a green plastic coat) about 6 inches into the ground and left about 2 feet sticking out of the ground to drop the PVC pipe over. The length in the ground seems to be enough to prevent them from being pulled up. The length above the ground seems to be enough to prevent the PVC pipe from lifting up due to a gust of wind.



I've experimented with several methods of attaching shade cloth to the PVC pipe (safety pins multiple problems, string wears)... until I found twist ties. The TV I purchased came with a bunch of different cables with twist ties about 5 inches long. The twist ties fit through the holes of the shade cloth and, being metal, are strong enough not to snap during wind.



We get monsoons here as well. So far this latest style has held up well in the wind but I'm cautious and take the shade cloth down during high winds. I don't glue my PVC structure together (for easy take-down and storage), so my biggest worry is the part of the structure will come loose and fall on my garden - not the end of the world since shade cloth and PVC are pretty light. This fall I plan to replace the PVC with a permanent multipurpose wood structure.

One last note on my structure - again I'm not an engineer - but I leave enough slack for the shade cloth to flap around in the wind. That may be good... that may be bad... I'm learning and open to suggestions from others.

Bonus pic - my Lilliput Zinnias from Bakers Creek. These are my favorite flowers. The pic doesn't do them justice. Each flower starts off with one layer of flowers and then keep adding layers over the following week. Beautiful stuff. These each have half of their layers.



Thanks TejasTerry. They are the favorite bean of both my wife and I. I will plant many more of them next season. I'll let you know if the Rattlesnake beans ever start producing. The plant is HUGE with only 2 beans. I've seen tons of flowers but alas... little to chew on.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  Turan on 2/10/2015, 12:19 pm

I thought our desert and hot places gardeners would find this thread interesting, so I am bumping it up the raft Laughing

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  sanderson on 2/10/2015, 12:33 pm

Turan, Thank you for bumping.

I use binder clips to attach heavy curtain sheers to poles when the temps are over 100*F.

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/13/2015, 11:44 am

We don't experience a lot of wind here though there are sporatic heavy winds during the spring and fall. My experience with winds has been anything that is allowed to flap will shred, so I would pull things taut.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 7/28/2015, 11:55 am

This is my 4th? summer with the shade cloth structure.

This time I ditched the metal conduit and PVC for the vertical poles.  I spent $20 on a hound dog garden tiller, $25 on ten 8 ft tree stakes and $10 on 10 ft tall PVC pipe that is 2" thick.  I cut the PVC pipe into ten 1 ft sections, used the garden tiller to quickly dig 10 holes in the hard, rocky AZ soil, dropped the PVC sections in and then slid the tree stakes in.  When summer is over and the structure comes down and the tree stakes come out, I'll cap the PVC holes.  I drilled some holes through the top of the tree stakes and threaded the old PVC through the holes connecting the poles to lay the shade cloth.  The wind has not damaged the structure at all and it looks nicer (according to the wife).
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  sanderson on 7/28/2015, 12:33 pm

Photos? Some folks may want to see your setup.

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