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Albuquerque: Shading to Extend Spring Growing Season

Posted by BriceInAbq z7 Abq NM (My Page) on
Mon, May 3, 04 at 14:07

In Albuquerque, how much is it possible to extend
the spring growing season using shade fabric?
Specifically, I'm interested in greens and other
cool-weather staples like broccoli. Is it possible to
grow greens straight through the summer if properly
shaded or does the air temperature just get too hot?
I'm thinking of building "shade tunnels" over a couple
of my beds using a hoop-house design. I'd probably
build them 3 to 4 feet in height, so the heat of the
fabric would be minimized and there would be an ample
amount of space to let wind flow through.

- Brice

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Albuquerque: Shading to Extend Spring Growing Season

Dio2 majd akkor jelenik meg, amikor a Duke 4ever ;))..... vazzeg!
megyek hazafele a boltbol, kilepek az ajton tomkodom a kabatzsebembe a ket doboz cigit, a felliteres danont, meg a 2 literes kolat...
hirtelen raebereddek, hogy a kola nem fog beleferni. erre akkorat fikaztam, mint allat :( tiszta joghurt lett a kabatom. ez rossz elojel...

RE: Albuquerque: Shading to Extend Spring Growing Season

In Santa Fe, I have extended lettuce and greens until late July by planting time and varieties. I found shade netting worked OK but not great, and the taste wasn't as good.

I think heavily mulched soil is more effective than shade. Plants are very keyed into day length as well as soil warmth, and these two are what mostly causes bolting in lettuce.

The best heat tolerant, long-day tolerant lettuces are the Batavians, and my favorite is Nevada, but I've been having trouble finding the seeds now. Red Grenoble is similar. This is a semi-heading lettuce that really stands up to heat...even those 90+ degree days in June and early July, before the rain (ha...what rain.) Romaines also do well in the heat. I like Little Gem and Rosalita. Plant summer lettuces around the average last frost date for your area, so you are too late this year.

I also find Red Deer Tongue to be very heat tolerant. Some Butterheads are heat tolerant.

I learned to extend my lettuce season from the "The Cook's Garden" catalog. Sow cutting lettuces weekly as soon as the ground can be worked. Sow spring lettuces (deer tongue, some butter lettuces) in early spring. Sow summer lettuces around the last frost date. For germination in warm weather, sow the seeds, cover with good layer of straw, water well. Check daily for germination and remove straw once most seeds have sprouted, or the seedlings get leggy fast. Don't forget about sowing for fall lettuces, too. I usually put my fall lettuces in mid August (probably late August or early Sept for ABQ, and cutting lettuces in early September. Also, don't forget about escarole and chard for summer greens (need cooking.)

I gave up long ago on spring and fall broccoli and cauliflower. The spring is too hot, too dry, too windy and the sun is too intense. I only plant them for fall...I set seedlings out around the 4th of July. Probably late July would work in ABQ. Hope this helps.

RE: Albuquerque: Shading to Extend Spring Growing Season

I have tried this in Houston with out much success. Our highs and those in ALBQ (just came back from a trip there) are similar but your lows are 10-20 degrees lower. Also we have so much humidity here.

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