I'm a newbie here.

zzackey(8b GA)May 5, 2012

I'm container growing my veggies for the first time. Someone gave me alot of free nursery cloth. I have that on the ground with my veggie pots (3 gallon and larger) on top of it. My summer squash and tomatoes are wilting from the heat. I want to use the cloth, but what can I do to help my poor babies survive? We just had our first 90+ day. TIA!

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Fabricate some sort of canopy to suspend that shade cloth over your plants to provide some sun relief. Having the cloth underneath the pots is bass-ackwards of what you need. You could also put them in a spot where they don't get hammered by strong, afternoon sun.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:46PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

The cloth is called ground cloth. It is what the nurseries use to keep the weeds away. I will try and find some shade cloth. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Ahhh, ok. I read "nursery cloth" and instantly thought of the stuff they make canopies with.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 7:42PM
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Summer squash and tomatoes should not be wilting just because of above 90 temps... there's something else going on.

Container size: 3 gallons is just too small for tomatoes. 5 gallons is the minimum, and I generally use 20 gallon tubs.

Transplant shock: did you just transplant them? They should be in partial shade until they establish.

Watering frequency: When first establishing, you may have to water transplants several times a day. In such small pots, you may not be able to get away with watering just once a day as the plant gets bigger... tomatoes pull a LOT of water as the summer goes on.

Root temps: Even when a plant is adequately watered, the roots can bake in the summer heat, causing a variety of problems. Small and dark colored pots aggravate this. Solutions include insulated pots, unglazed terra cotta pots, much larger pots, shading the pot with a some kind of box structure, spray painting pots white, using a pot-in-pot system with mulch as an insulator between the two pots.

Pests: Check for destroyed stems at the base of your squash plant, as sudden wilting can be indicative of squash borers.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:47PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

They look fine today. Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 5:48PM
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