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Providing harsh sun shade for garden bed - cloche with shade cloth or ?

 
Posts: 5
Location: Melbourne, Australia
forest garden
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Hi Everyone - hope you guys can help me out

I am living in Melbourne Australia and the past few days have seen temperature soaring up to 38 degree and expected to be higher in January.
I got some spare poly tubing that can be made into cloches for the beds but I need to buy the suitable shade cloth still.

My question is is there any alternative method to provide heat filter for the vegetables?
Would it be ok to plant some sort of low height tree with canopy in middle of the bed ?
Has anyone have the same issue and what's your solution.

Please let me know thank you very much
 
steward
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Location: West Tennessee
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Hi Thanh. Welcome to permies.

I have a question for you about your garden and what exactly you're trying to achieve. Are you wanting to shade your crops because if wilting problems?

I'm in middle Tennessee, and in the summer here, it too regularly gets to 38 degrees (100 Fahrenheit) and I do not shade my garden. My garden is in the full sun from dawn to dusk. If you are having wilting problems, the solution to this is to prevent the soil from getting to hot, and that's accomplished by mulching. When soil temperatures start getting over 32 degrees (90 Fahrenheit), water becomes less available, even if the soil is sufficiently wet and there's plenty of water there. Mulch on top of your soil to keep it cool, and wilting (if this is the problem) will improve.

Mind that, some crops (like leafy greens such as lettuce & spinach, and cabbages) are sensitive to intense summer sun and will get sun scald when the sun starts to get high in the sky, and shade cloth will help prevent sun scald and extend the growing season for those types of crops.

If I haven't quite provided the help your seeking, let me know and I'll do my best to assist.
 
gardener
Posts: 6686
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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You have several options including a shade row cover. Unless you want this bed to always have some shaded areas, a tree would not be the best choice. Then there is the issue of water for both the vegetables and the tree, along with any allopathic issues that might be significant.
James has given a pretty good Hot climate set of ideas too.

Redhawk
 
Thanh Le
Posts: 5
Location: Melbourne, Australia
forest garden
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Thank you for your kind guidance James & Bryant,

I am using only straw and grass clippings (mainly now) as mulch but I don't do them very thick
I read that grass clippings will be matted with thick layer and also release more odors?

It is very popular here in Australia to use sugar cane mulch.
I've yet to read much about that product but I still prefer to re-use the wastes that I produce at home i.e. grass clippings to create the complete cycle.

I would very much like to grow some vines to cover the garden beds to make a cover of multiple function (food + shade), however it also means less flexibility to me now
Hence I am going to do some hoop poly pipe so I can either cover with shade cloth in the summer, or with plastic in winter as a greenhouse.

Finally, i've yet to determine why some of my plants since transplanted have their leaves burnt so I assume it was because of the heat at this stage

pumpkin


pumpkin


shungiku, noted of the burnt tips in grey?


spinach, leaves edge burnt

If you happen to know the cause of these symptoms, please let me know

This bed I prepared with lasagna method since July - not very well aged horse manure + straw + lucern alternating

We  top it off with our home made compost which is not fully cooked as there are still sawdust/straw in there


We did these transplants on 10 Dec, and it is summer. The follow 3 days see from 24-38 deg C with no rain. We water every afternoon 2-1 hours before sunset.


 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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That appears to be nitrogen burn, most likely caused by the non-composted horse manure in your mix. (sometimes lasagna beds can have too much nitrogen, depends on what all is used in the layers).
Don't forget that fresh grass clippings are very nitrogen rich and they too can cause nitrogen burn to tender (young) plants.
That last photo the damage looks to be by insects or a bacteria (the holes don't appear to be plant burn caused).

If you can get some calcium carbonate (drywall or sheet rock are made of it) that will help reduce the effects of the high N by chemical bonding to form calcium nitrite and calcium nitrate.
you can also use ground up sea shells since they too are calcium rich.

If you haven't already, start a compost pile with straw, manure and clippings plus any other vegetation (including kitchen scraps (they go in the middle of heap)).

If you can get wood chips, they can be added to your mulch layer.

Redhawk
 
Thanh Le
Posts: 5
Location: Melbourne, Australia
forest garden
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Thank you Bryant,

Your suggestion on the grounded sea shell is fantastic - i'm looking forward to this weekend trip to the beach with my young son now.


 
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I have a similar issue. I live in Arizona and have a flower bed under 2 story floor to ceiling window. I wasn’t here during late July, August and September and my yard guy said the windows reflected the 116 degree sun and literally fried my drought resistant ice plant. Would shade tunnels be adequate to overcome this problem?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I would make sure the shade cloth was also able to provide some insulative value if possible. Where I live it is heat not light that does most of the killing of plants,  reflected heat might need strategic placement of shade material closer to the window more than closer to the plants.

Redhawk
 
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