Will shade cloth do any good?

shade clothThe tenants had some shade cloth hanging over this garden bed. When we moved back in, we rolled it up. Last night we restrung it. Summer is merciless this year. Today it’s 41.5 – will a bit of shade cloth make any difference?

burnt silverbeetThis silverbeet was cooked by yesterday’s sun. Not a cloud in the sky and high of 37. The young peas can’t cope. Forget about the spring onions (I know the photo below looks like I planted the poor things straight into clay but the row I planted in good compost mix near the peas – a bit of which you can see in the dying pea photo – is doing even worse). My one and only coriander sprout had soldiered on valiantly but yesterday just gave up the ghost. Last night I picked a couple of tomatoes that felt like they’d been parboiled (they went straight into the compost).  I think the whole garden is DOOMED. I can’t say I blame it, I’d be scorched if I was out under that sun too!

wilting baby peasSpring onions in the heat

Update 4 May 2011: Shadecloth definitely helped (we were too late installing it this year) and mulch helps too. Both will be in heavy use next summer.

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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