Monday, January 16, 2012

Sun Burnt Plants

Hydrangea after 3 days of 41 degrees C heat.

It's hot in Australia in summer. It is so hot that many of our plants suffer from sunburn. However, being burnt does not mean that a plant will die. From the 'ashes' tomatoes keep fruiting, and hydrangeas start to reshoot with green around the lower stem.

It is very important to not remove all the dead foliage during summer as they assist the plant in shade.

Garden Shade Cloth

This week, I headed to my local hardware and garden center to find out a bit more about the type of shade cloth that would be suitable for my garden.

Myth #1:  Plants won't grow properly under shade cloth.
Truth: They will and do; often flourishing in locations that suffer extreme temperatures.

Myth #2: I can use our left-over green shade cloth we used on the house.
Truth: There are specific GARDEN shade cloths that let through the correct level of light, which are a different level to common household shade cloth. You can kill a plant by using the wrong level of shade cloth.

Myth #3: Shade cloth is only for hot climates.
Truth: Shade cloth also reduces the likelihood of frost burn during the cooler months. Use all year round.

Myth #4: Shade cloth has to go all the way down to the ground.
Truth: Only if you are trying to keep out the pesky Cabbage Moth/caterpillars or heavy frosts. But really, it is not necessary on every plant. Just take note of when the sun does the most damage in your garden and adjust the shade cloth accordingly to screen the worst time of day.

Tips for Shade Cloth Shopping
  • Measure your intended area before heading out to the shops. Take plant height into consideration.
  • Make sure you explain what type of vegetation you need to cover with shade cloth.
  • Shade cloth is cut by the meter.
  • On average, a good shade cloth will cost $7 per/m.
  • Buy thick wooden stakes and twisty-ties for the shade construction, or use a frame.


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