Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Greenhouse Shadecloth

In my life as a Wisconsin gardener, much of my thought process is about how to get bushes, vines, trees, chickens and bees to survive the bitter cold winter. But this year, I'm learning how to get those same bushes, vines, trees, chickens and bees to survive an extraordinarily blistering summer. And although it's been hot outside, it's been even hotter in the greenhouse.

Daytime temperatures in the greenhouse are frequently more than 100 degrees. Inside, we're growing eggplant and peppers in large containers. These two veggies theoretically love the heat, and I thought they would enjoy the protection of the greenhouse. I was surprised to discover that the leaves of the eggplant bushes were bleaching and dropping. Once it dawned on me that it was just too sunny in there, I draped an old sheet over the top of the greenhouse. Within a couple days, the leaves began to turn green again.

We ordered a "shadecloth kit" and installed it inside the greenhouse. It's not perfect, but it certainly makes the greenhouse more tolerable in the heat. The eggplants are recovering and shooting out more blossoms and fruit. I imagine that I'll remove the shade cloth in a few weeks and store it until next year. I've also added a fan to the greenhouse. It's important to keep the air moving, which seems to keep the whiteflies under control.

Whether it's too hot or too cold, we always enjoy eating whatever fresh food we manage to grow.

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