Is It Too Late to Plant in June?
Not by our reckoning or that of our Garden Planner app. We’ve planted beets, tomatillos, squash, flowers, peppers, eggplants, and cucamelons (Mexican Sour Gherkins). We’ve seeded arugula, okra, and red orach. Today, we’ll be planting more eggplant, cucumbers, and peppers, and seeding in lettuces under the shade arch.
Extend Your Growing Season into Summer
Shading your heat sensitive plants can make a difference as to whether they’ll grow to maturity or just give up and bolt. Just as the frost covers help extend the growing in colder weather, the shade material can do the same in hot weather.
Speaking with a plant techie at Johnny’s Seeds, the assessment was they got too hot and shade cloth was recommended. We got the 50% type shade fabric and have been using it over our cole crops, arugula, and now, kalettes. So far, it’s working great.
You can shade with homemade devices as well. We’ve used old window screens still in the frame and fiberglass screen right off the roll. Allow enough space below for air to circulate. A good thick layer of mulch around the plants will help. We prefer wood chips or straw bale straw, the Ruth Stout way. Planting sun and heat sensitive crops where they’ll receive partial shade naturally works too.
Does Black Plastic Shade Fabric Work?
Using our laser thermometer, we tested the effect of fabric shading yesterday when the ambient temperature was 90 degrees. The shade areas ranged from 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the open areas. So, in spite of the black color, apparently, there’s enough air passage through the weaves to make the shading work. So yes!.. the black shade fabric definitely works!
A Favorite Garden Tool
I never though a pair of scissors could be so handy in the garden. And yet, they do everything from cutting suckers, to harvesting produce, to cutting twine, cutting shade fabric, and to delicate operations like cutting squash bug egg clusters out of leaves. By the way, the removal of such egg clusters has become a daily regimen as a result of one of our readers saying that’s what she does to control the infestation. We’re testing it out here.
Back to scissors. Our favorite type is the “Cuts and More” made by Fiskars. They are rust-proof titanium, come with a sharpener/sheath, and fit nicely in the pocket without poking a hole. It’s a sure bet you’ll find dozens of uses for some good scissors as you garden. There’s even a bottle opener to save your teeth. 😉
Well the sun is out, the sky is blue, it’s time to garden! We’re eager to receive your comments, especially in regard to shading. Any techniques you care to share? Please, leave your comments here or join us on Facebook. We really enjoy seeing (and sharing) your photos too!
May your garden flourish and your harvests be bountiful!
– Coleman, for GardensAll
G. Coleman Alderson is an entrepreneur, land manager, investor, gardener, and author of the novel, Mountain Whispers: Days Without Sun. Coleman holds an MS from Penn State where his thesis centered on horticulture, park planning, design, and maintenance. He’s a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and a licensed building contractor for 27 years. “But nothing surpasses my 40 years of lessons from the field and garden. And in the garden, as in life, it’s always interesting because those lessons never end!” Coleman Alderson