LAWN AND GARDEN
Peppers have it made in the shade
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If you look shade is proving effective forward to perfect in shielding plants from peppers but are high temperatures as disappointed when well – the transplants he they get sunburn, covered with shade in there aren’t as early June aren’t showing many as you the stress the exposed thought, or they peppers are. aren’t as big as Globally, researchers you’d like, chances CAROL O’MEARA concerned with the CSU Extension are that you effects climate change have sunlight to could have on crop blame. High solar intensity and production are exploring ways temperatures work against getting to buffer hotter temperatures. the most of our pepper crops. Growing under shade cloth has Research on shading peppers garnered interest, and researchers is casting light on the beneﬁts are working to ﬁnd the type of of cooling things off a bit on shade cloth that gives the most leaves and the root zone. Heat beneﬁt. University of Georgia stress reduces plant’s ability to has shown that the color of the photosynthesize and cool itself shade netting doesn’t make much efﬁciently, which in turn limits difference; however, leaf surface root development. Increasingly temperature remained higher higher temperatures in summer under white shade cloth. limits root growth and damages In our gardens, peppers covered fruit. with shade cloth or ﬂoating Colorado’s research into row covers are also in much solving this problem is led better shape. Popping a tent of by Dr. Mike Bartolo, Senior 30-percent cloth over your crop Research Scientist and manager might help get things growing of the Arkansas Valley Research again, Bartolo said. “As long as Center in Rocky Ford. He’s been the stem is ok and not injured researching the development of by sunscald, things should get chili peppers since 1992. moving again once things cool Bartolo’s research into down or you shade the plant.” preventing sunscald on the fruit A bit of shade is helpful to of peppers led him to using other plants as well, such as 30-percent shade barrier over basil or tomatoes during fruit some plants to protect the fruit production. Mulching also from harmful rays. But now that helps keep the plant cool since Loveland Reporter-Herald – AtHomeColorado.com
it protects roots from water loss and soil cracking. Shade cloth is available at garden centers in various lengths. It’s a durable fabric that can be used for several years. When covering your plants, remember that this is to be suspended above them, unlike ﬂoating row covers that can sit right on the plants. Create a frame for holding the shade barrier two to four feet above the plants, taking care that it’s secure for wind. Floating row covers provide about 15 to 19-percent shade, which might not be enough at this time to break the grip of heat. Early in the season it would help for root development, so keep it handy for next year. Colorado State University Extension, together with Boulder County Parks and Open Space, provides unbiased, research-based information about consumer and family issues, horticulture, natural resources, agriculture and 4-H youth development. For more information contact Extension at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd., Box B, Longmont, 303.678.6238, or visit the web site at ext.colostate.edu/ boulder. August 10-11, 2019
Colorado Home and Real Estate