Protect your plants from sunburn: Put on the shades19 November 2015 Linda Ross
With temperatures predicted to soar during the next few days, many gardeners need to give their gardens some instant shade!
The scorching sun will be intense. Just-burst spring foliage and just-planted summer vegetables will be most at risk and in desperate need of 30+ protection. Firstly get up early and water plants most at risk.
Here are some quick strategies we use to protect them from scorch and sunburn.
1. Delicate Plants
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After last week’s hailstorm many plants like begonia and fuchsia have been stripped off all their leaves leaving bare internal stems at the mercy of the sun’s rays. These plants are at the highest risk of blistering with high temperatures predicted. These plants need protection from beach umbrella now. Make sure it’s anchored securely.
2. Tomato fruit
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40C+ days are a real killer causing tomato fruit to blister and scorch. Protect developing fruit with squares of muslin or light hessian (available on the roll from hardware shops) pegged up to your tomato stakes or framework. Take care to protect the western sides in particular.
3. Leafy greens
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Getting leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach, to grow through the summer months is an uphill battle as they are prone to ‘bolt’ to seed before developing a good heart. Avoid this by choosing a shadier patch during summer (under a tree is perfect). Or build a bamboo structure and string up bamboo fencing above the crops giving them even dappled light. Ensure the western side is more thoroughly screened.
4. Seed beds
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Many vegetables are sown in situ – like carrots! Carrots need a moist shaded seed bed to germinate and thus will find summer days difficult. Prevent this by placing curved perennial supports along an individual row and pegging up muslin or shade cloth along. We sow carrots every eight weeks for a constant supply.
5. Potted plants
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Bring all your potted plants over to the south side of your house, fill their saucers with water and give them a long cool morning drink. The exception is succulents and cactus – they’ll weather the heat. Bring all your indoor plants away from windows as they can also burn with the morning sun.