Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shading your plants can increase vegetable production and quality

In those parts of the world where sun light is intense and air temperature is hot providing shade cover for your vegetables can increase yield and quality.


Kay Wheeler holds up a piece of floating row cover (insect barrier)
that can be used to shade plants.

A number of vegetables to include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and okra drop flower buds and young fruit when the plant’s temperature exceeds 32 degrees C. (90 degrees F.). These plants also may abort flower buds and fruit when evening air temperatures drop below 10 degrees C. (50 degrees F.). Shading the plants helps correct these problems.

Even when air temperature exceeds 32 degrees C. (90 degrees F.) shading the plants helps keep the plant below this critical temperature. When shade is provided it also helps retain night temperatures above the critical 10 degrees C. (50 degrees Fahrenheit).

Shade cloth, sheeting or even brush stuck into the ground on the south and west sides of these plants can be used. Shade cloth, sheeting or other fabrics should be suspended above the plants. This will permit insects to reach the blossoms for pollination. Brush pushed into the ground on the south and west sides of these plants will also provide the shade necessary to increase production. Shading also helps prevent sun burn on tomatoes, egg plant, okra and other vegetables improving the length of time they can be kept in storage.

Pepper fruit damaged by sunburn.


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