Sunday, August 3, 2008

Shading Fall Plantings

As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday I planted mustard and collard greens, spinach, and broccoli and cauliflower for fall crops. According to the August/September 2008 issue of Mother Earth News, the heat this time of year can be torture for plants, particularly new plantings for the fall. I learned that many established plants won't pollinate once the daytime temps are over 86 degrees. And seeds will not germinate if the soil temperature is too high. Apparently if daytime temps reach 90 degrees, soil temperatures can be 110 degrees - too hot for germination.

So this morning before the heat set in, I dug out some extra lattice we had stored in our minibarn and laid it down over the areas where I'd planted seed yesterday. I used bricks to prop them up so that air can circulate underneath the lattice. Once the roots are established, I'll either remove the lattice or replace it with a more appropriate shading for seedlings.

Today's local weather:
High temp: 83 F
Low temp: 66 F
Abundant sunshine

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