Shade cloth

Rio_GrandeJune 11, 2013

I may have this in the wrong spot. My only defense is you keep having all my answers!

I bought row shade at the recomendation of a local Amish store owner. We set it up mini greenhouse style with hoops over the raised beds. It seems to work as the lettuce under it is regenerating and looking decent. The spinach dosent seem to care and is bent on bolting.

What my question comes from is it lets very little sunlight in, I know go figure shade cloth, but tonight I made a canopy out of it to cover some taller stuff, broccoli, and while watering thought what the heck and sprayed the water on top of the shade cloth. It turns water, as in better than our trump shed roof! It just pooled in a corner and eventually went through the cloth.

I don't mean to be picky but did I buy the wrong stuff?

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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Usually 30% is recommended for lettuce and other stuff. I have heard people going as high as 50%. What % did you buy?

It is funny you mention this, we set up our spinner sprinklers today over our outside lettuce. We got up to 100 degrees today and luckily the wind was blowing out of the south at 30 mph.

We used 6 spinner sprinklers to cover all the beds. It was significantly cooler. I want to use this in conjunction with shade cloth, but shade cloth isn't in the budget this year and I am not really sure I could keep it on the bows with our winds.

Here are two pictures I snapped, after dark, sorry they aren't the best. I had 3 spinners that were on 12 inch stakes and I zip tied the others to the bow (quick, easy and I was in a hurry).

We used a similar set up, with a timer last year with our high tunnel tomatoes. It did lower the temps and got some fruit to set despite the triple digit heat for weeks on end. I just need to buy a better timer.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 12:15AM
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Not sure what percent it is, mostly concerned that it is shading too much. I am still waiting on my misting heads on the slow boat, but as soon as they get here I am going to get them up. We are just hitting 80s here, but I need this lettuce until at least the first few weeks in July.

Your stuff looks so good!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:12AM
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spinach is very picky. I don't get a good crop.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 9:10AM
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I have read that spinach is day length sensitive and you can not trick it with shade cloth?

I am a real believer in shade cloth out here in inland Ca. it is 50% for lettuce season extension. it doesn't hurt to use it on the side of a building or row of trees that will totally block
southwest exposure.

I grew Johnny's magic broccoli(touted for heat) to maturity in the middle of summer last year and that is typically only a winter crop here. It helps that our nights are relatively cool I guess.

I bought a row 6' wide for 4' hoops and skew it to the side of the row that get's the most afternoon sun. It's clamped on with spring clamps. It has blown around a few times but didn't hurt anything. Winds are pretty rare in summer.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:12PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Yes Jay luckily it was 30 mph south winds LOL.

I invested in shade cloth and low tunnel supplies this year and am experiencing the coolest summer ever. Ironic huh? I will soon put it over the brassicas if needed then over later planted lettuce and spinach.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 5:54PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I finally built my two low tunnels with shade fabric. The first one was terrible so the second one I did differently and now I have to redo the first one. The successful one is like this: rebar every 4 feet- 12 foot tube of 3/4 inch poly tubing with 9 gauge wire inside (from my little hoops- 2 per big hoop). Then shade fabric on top with clamps and ties on the grommets. It is substantial enough for now with the wire inside the tubing. Wouldn't work without it and I had plenty right now after removing row cover from a bunch of crops. I don't think I really needed to buy clamps because you can just saw off 6 inch pieces of tubing and cut down one side and that works just as well and is free from scraps! It was too dark to take a pic when I was done so I will later.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 1:54PM
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