Dealing With the Summer Heat
Most herbs and veggies need some access to sunlight, unless grown under full spectrum artificial lights. The amount and intensity of sunlight that they can comfortably handle varies from plant to plant but the upper and lower limits are very wide. In fact, I have been experimenting for years on all types and varieties in absolute full sun, including 40 deg + days with very little negative effect on most. My experimental Salad Tables receive sun from dawn until dusk and are not protected from the elements whatsoever. No nets, no covers and no wind protection gives me great confidence in my products when in your hands as you probably won't be able to expose your plants to the environmental extremes that i have exposed mine to over the years.
The lettuce may droop a little, the kale leaves may become a little softer than they normally are but be rest assured, as the arvo becomes a little cooler your babies will start bouncing back to life.
When planting seedlings in to your table it is best to do so late in the afternoon as this will give them a little bit time to settle. If you plant in the morning this may shock them if you get a really hot day.
If you think the occupants of your Salad Table are suffering under the heat of mid summer temps then there are a few simple options you can take to help them out. Firstly, pick up your garden and move to a more sheltered position. It really is that simple provided your nutrient tank level doesn't make it too heavy to move. If it is full then remove some of the contents into a container or 2 and add back to tank when it's in its new position. You can also throw a net over the top if you don't have the option to move your table. The type of net is up to you as long it's not too heavy as you don't want to squash your plants. You can purchase a lightly constructed bird or hail net from most hardwares. You may even have the perfect protection laying around your house such as an old white window curtain. Make sure the material is not a thick cotton type like a bed sheet as this may trap the heat and wipe out your entire crop in no time. If you have a little more time up your sleeve and you want a more permanent cover there are endless ways to achieve this. Click here for a heap of ideas...
If you don't have time for a protection solution then simply leave your Salad Table where it is. Hey, I did without losing too much.
Just remember though, some varieties will never grow during the summer months so it doesn't matter what you do, they will not survive.
Click here for a list on what, when and where to grow throughout Australia. You will normally find that your Salad Table success far exceeds that of soil growing especially during the heat. Experiment, you will be surprised!!!
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