Author Topic: Texas Summers  (Read 2125 times)

tankertoad

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Texas Summers
« on: May 27, 2018, 01:15:01 am »
I'm a first-time Earthbox user (Zone 8b):

Do any of the experienced Earthbox users here who live in hot climates have any experience with trying to use 50% garden shade fabric to mitigate the intense sun/heat of southern summers?

Of course, at a certain point, fruit set will end due to temperature, but I'm looking toward possibly being able to carry over my plants into cooler temperatures as Fall approaches.  My guess is, the best approach will likely be to start in early August with new transplants and use the garden shade to protect them then.

Thanks.

Beau in Austin

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Re: Texas Summers
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 02:28:54 pm »
In a similar boat here in Austin where we're forecast to hit 106 later this week. So far so good though, watering the tomato boxes twice a day and have picked about 70 tomatoes from 4 plants with more still ripening. Getting fairly full sun in a small section of the yard, roughly 9AM to 6PM.

Being this hot this early in the season is not cool.

tankertoad

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Re: Texas Summers
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2018, 08:32:14 pm »
I'm about 25 miles northwest of Austin, near Leander, so this rural setting probably won't experience the heat island effect, if you live in Austin proper, that'll take temps to 106 next week. However, I did go ahead and got a 6X10 shade cloth. My setup is two boxes inside a repurposed 6Wx10Lx6H chain link dog run to keep deer and other critters at bay, so the 6x10 shade was perfect. Not sure yet if it's just psychological or not, but the plants don't seem as droopy by the early evening as they did. Time will tell if there's any adverse effect on blooming, fruit set, or ripening.

Beau in Austin

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Re: Texas Summers
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2018, 09:52:41 am »
One of the things I've appreciated as a new Earthbox gardener is the lack of drooping at the end of the day, compared to growing in the ground. So far, as long as I fill the boxes with water twice a day, they're still looking proud around sunset.

On the other hand I've read that one of the ways to improve the flavor of fruits and vegetables is to cut back on watering before harvesting, and that doesn't seem entirely doable with an EB.