Starting Cool Season Crops in the Heat of Summer

August 8th, 2009 by david laferney Leave a reply »

There are any number of ways to get your cool season crops for your fall garden started despite the intense heat of August.  In fact some of them will be just fine direct seeded into the garden as long as you keep them well watered.  However, you will still have to contend with peak populations of insects.

This simple trick will protect your tender seedlings from the intense sun, while still letting in plenty of light, and keeping out the bugs.

You probably already have some of these mesh flat trays.

You probably already have some of these mesh flat trays - If you don't you can get them for cheap at most nurseries.

Just turn one upside down over your plants.

Just turn one upside down over your plants.

Then drape a pice of screen cloth over the top - you can buy this by the foot at any home center.

Then drape a peice of screen cloth over the top - you can buy screen by the foot at any home center.

You can weight down the edges of the screen cloth with boards or you can fold it under the flats.  You can also water right through the screen cloth.  You can even use this trick if you’ve direct seeded.  By the time your plants outgrow the inverted flats they will be big enough to survive the sun without the protection.

Try to pick an overcast day to remove the screen on if possible – otherwise do it in the afternoon when the sun has passed it’s highest intensity.  Remove the mesh tray a day or two later.

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