I am trying to grow several different varieties of hardy and fuzzy kiwi in North Alabama. The full day of direct sun and the summer heat seems to cause many to die off even after using drip irrigation and wood chips.
I am growing on a 35ft X 30ft Pergola and want to know if anyone has had success using shade cloth on top and what percentage.
FYI only. I put up a white shade cloth (30%) about one foot above the pergola wire. It does help with the overheating of the kiwi. During the Spring I may use 90% shade cloth to slow down the kiwi vines from waking up too early. Hope this works.
It sounds to me like you have it under control Dennis. You might find that you need to go to a 40%-50% cloth for middle of summer but you are in the ball park to prevent serious wilt and death of your vines.
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I already put up 30% thinking that would be enough but they are growing real slow. Since I cannot find a 20% add on solution I will probably end up using some more 30% block shade cloth that I have and put it just over the top of the kiwi main stalk to shade the worst of the noon day sun. Maybe in a few years I can find a better solution without removing and replacing the white shade cloth.
I have a small 0.65 acre lot in a subdivision. No forest around the house.
The summer sun is straight above during the hottest part of the season. So I built a 30 foot by 30 foot pergola system and found a way to put the shade cloth a little over a foot above the wires where the vines will grow. I found some clips that snap over the metal conduit pipe that holds the shade cloth and it is pretty robust. It should be good for a couple of years or however long white shade cloth will last.
Found a site that sells shade cloth to growers and they have a table to figure out how much shade a double layer can give you. Two layers of %30 will give around 50% shade which is what I need.
The purpose of the two layers is so you can have a double layer over the hottest part of summer and a single layer at other times. Good to know.
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