Protecting plants from heat

Posted: Wednesday 10 July 2013
by Pippa Greenwood

I think it’s funny how we wait for ages for a bit of half-decent weather to come along, and then when it does, we seem to go into a mild (or not so mild) panic.

I think it’s funny how we wait for ages for a bit of half-decent weather to come along, and then when it does, we seem to go into a mild (or not so mild) panic.

The weather is now the warmest it’s been for quite a while, and it looks as though this will continue, so I’m protecting my plants. This will hopefully minimise the damage that a sudden change in temperature can cause.

My son has applied white glazing paint to the roof, and partially to the sides, of the greenhouse. And for the first time this year, I have rolled down the very decrepit wooden-slatted shading in the other greenhouse, and rolled up the end flaps of the mini poly tunnel.

I moved a few greenhouse veg crops, like peppers, down from the staging and onto the floor, standing them in trays full of gravel or capillary matting so it’s easier to keep them moist.

It’s amazing how much cooler it is lower down in a greenhouse, compared with up on the staging. It’s definitely worth moving plants down to ground level for this reason, if you can. I even nestled a few pots into spare areas of soil in the greenhouse border to minimise the risk of them drying out too quickly.

I have very little luck with automatic greenhouse vents, which seem to last no time at all with me (I gather many other suffer this too). So, the dead vents are now wedged wide open with old plastic flower pots. I plan to remove a pane of glass from the greenhouse which only has one vent, so rising heat can escape, and so air can circulate better.

Out in the garden, as well as topping up mulches on well-moistened soil, I’ll erect some temporary shading to give a little light relieve to the lettuces (they love to bolt at the earliest opportunity). Thank heavens plants don’t need sun tan lotion, or I guess I’d be out there with that, too.

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oldchippy 11/07/2013 at 21:15

with all the things to put up with it make me wonder if it's worth growing plant's for food as there seem's an end less supply of thing trying to eat what we grow for our own use.

comp13 17/07/2013 at 19:15

oldchippy u can say that again; after keeping a hawk eye out for slugs and not seeing any, something is eating my lettuce and I don't even know what. so frustrating

everos 20/07/2013 at 18:39

My main problem is the wood pigeons.  Even though I throw a piece of net over the brassicas, they still seem to get through.

kaycurtis 09/08/2013 at 05:06

I have to smile about keeping plants cool and shaded as I have one of those little plastic greenhouses for growing cuttings and seeds and we all know what a death trap to plants they can be but I have a cunning way to keep my babies happy I stand my big green parasol over it and everything is as happy as Larry. hope this is helpful to others.

kaycurtis 09/08/2013 at 05:13

I think with the woodpigeons it's best to make a frame around the brassicas so the netting isn't actually lying on the crop and secure the bottom with those pegs like the things that hold a tent in place. Oh! and make sure the netting holes are small enough not to allow the cabbage white butterfly to lay it's eggs on them.