Protecting crops

by Pippa Greenwood

I spent most of last week running around the vegetable patch trying to protect my crops from the scorching sun.

Damping down a greenhouse floor.The heat has been incredible lately. I feel like my vegetables are cooking in the ground where they're growing. I'm used to the fact that all that soft, tender foliage is like a big advert to passing pests and pathogens, but the intense heat is a risk I'm less used to.

I spent most of last week running around the vegetable patch trying to protect my crops from the scorching sun. To create a little shade I made newspaper tents, pinned twigs and paper to the tops of net-covered raised bed frames and tunnels, and moved all pots out of direct sunlight.

Even a bit of temporary shade is worth it, as it's made a huge difference to the plants. In the greenhouse the brick pathway was regularly dampened down with a can of water. Damping down may be an old-fashioned technique, but it's a brilliant way to rapidly reduce the temperature in a greenhouse or coldframe. It also increases humidity levels, which helps to reduce the risk of red spider mite.

But what I want to know is, if I had used some of the plant oil-based bug treatments just before the heat set in, would I have had an instant stir-fry on my pak-choi?

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Gardeners' World Web User 04/06/2009 at 18:51

I'm having my first attempts at growing mini italian plum tomatoes this year. Any advice,i.e do i pinch out side shoots etc please ! :-)

Gardeners' World Web User 05/06/2009 at 19:54

Yes we had a heat wave last week! and i had to water newly planted flowers & veg. I am presently watching gardeners world and Jo swift said that the danger of frost was now past!, as i am looking at SNOW on Elerkin the large hill in front of my house. This country's great last week i stayed at home and had a summer to rival the south of France today we are back to an English January. Will my plants really cope with these two extremes within 24/48 hours ?? It looks really strange with trees in full leaf and snow on the ground unfortunately my camera battery is flat. so i am willing it to charge up before dark.

Gardeners' World Web User 07/06/2009 at 06:57

i am trying to grow potatoes for the first time, yesterday the weather changed to heavy rain and battering winds. My potatoe stalks and leaves have been blown over and are flat and limp - will they come back or should i try to support them? can anyone help

Gardeners' World Web User 09/06/2009 at 15:47

Hi Sandra, are you growing earlies or main crop? Generally if you had "earthed up" the potatoes then this should have protected the plants and they should recover without the need of support, also if you are growing earlies then I would have thought the crop is nearly ready for digging up!!!

Gardeners' World Web User 09/06/2009 at 23:49

Hello everyone i'm also growing potatoes for the first time and evet timerything is going well i doubt that the potatoe plants were complaining bout the weather i wasn't,ehehhehe scorching heat wave in the west of ireland last few weeks, but we are back to mild weather now and i followed gardeners world advice and sprayed the plants with copper fungicide agains't blight.could anyone tell me when its the right time for digging my first tatoes out,and should i keep spraying every two weeks till then????????????regards

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