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Francis Barnswallow
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Blue tarp to cool plants down?

*shakes fist towards heaven*

Mid to upper 90's.......constantly. It's hotter then our usual summer temps. Anywho, I'm noticing all my tomato plants dropping blossoms and I don't blame them. It's ridiculously hot here. So I have blue plastic tarp available and I plan on using it to cover the tomato plants.

Now for the question: Does it matter what color the tarp is? My neighbor who also has a garden covered his garden with black garbage bags. Wouldn't that make it even hotter for the plants?

johnny123
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If you can find a gray or silver one they would be best.
Light colors reflect and darker colors absorb.
Blue is ok if that is all you can find.
Build the tarp high so air can circulate.
If a disease doesn't kill them and a bug doesn't eat them there may be something left for you.
Zone 47 Sector C

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Francis Barnswallow
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I'm planning on constructing something simple like an awning. I'm just concerned about the color of the tarp. Once I get the okay regarding the color blue, I'm going to make it.
Black plastic will cook your neighbor's tomatoes, not to mention anything else that is living in the soil.
I'll let him know cause he's a good guy. If he was a bad neighbor I wouldn't say anything. 8)

johnny123
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Again the lighter the color the better.
I would put blue in the middle of the range between a silver/gray tarp to a black tarp.
It should help cool.
I have built tarp tents over the pumpkins to keep them cool and help them retain moisture.
Tent just over the fruit with pumpkins not the leaves.
I used blue tarps and could feel the difference under them.
If a disease doesn't kill them and a bug doesn't eat them there may be something left for you.
Zone 47 Sector C

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Francis Barnswallow
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thanks yall :D

johnny123
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Wear a white t-shirt working in the sun and then wear a black one.
See which one you feel cooler in.
If a disease doesn't kill them and a bug doesn't eat them there may be something left for you.
Zone 47 Sector C

Aorourke
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thanks you have just given me a great idea if our summer gets that hot and my veggie bed is in the sun all day.
We have a gazebo that came with our tent, which I might use to shade the veggie if it's too hot. We are only planning on camping some of the weekends this summer so it'll be used a lot now!!

You might also be able to pick up a cheap gazebo for your veggies, as they are usually in light colours.
I think I just gave myself a hobby to keep me sane!! Summer nights full of peace and quiet in the back garden! What more do I need!?

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applestar
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Don't forget to deep mulch them with light color -- straw works well -- to keep their roots cool. :wink:

garden5
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:idea: You could also cover the back of the tarp in aluminum foil. I'll bet that would effectively reflect the heat.
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greenstubbs
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People have given me beef because of the looks on this board, but I don't care. It what's fuctional and does the job that counts! I just use a old sheet with squeeze clamps on 4 poles. When it get's really hot here in Cali., the squash, and cuck leaves wilt, when they do and I set this up and within a hour they perk up and are happy happy. Even if you cover 70% of the plant will work, mostly concentrate on the center of the plant.

greenstubbs
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Marlingardener wrote:Grreenstubs, I bet your sheets look better than my old umbrellas! I have a collection of old, ripped, bent, and faded umbrellas that still do duty as parasols for tender plants. When passersby see a row of umbrellas sprouting in the garden, they know I have new transplants out there!
As I say, "If it works good, use it!" However, I don't think a umbrella would work to good on a plant tha's mature and takes up some space, but for the young ones I'm sure it works good.

garden5
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You can also go to a fabric store and find really light material that you can drape over your rows and use as shade cloth. This seems to work well by totally (or almost) blocking out sunlight.
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