[Market-farming] shade

Willie McKemie mf at austinfarm.org
Sun Nov 27 16:15:21 EST 2005

I visited a fellow farmers marketer the other day and noticed that they 
had been shading peppers with shade cloth up on wood poles.  They move 
the poles each season.  Even though I loose about 75% of my mid-summer 
peppers to sun scald, I don't think their value justifies the cost of 
shade.  But, my neighbor got me to thinking about shade.  "Me thinking" 
is always dangerous.  And sometimes costly.

I decided that alternate rows of okra might do the job; I do grow about 
the same amount of okra as peppers and we grow both peppers and okra 
through our long spring-summer-fall season.  The okra's affinity for 
heavier soil would limit my rotation options for peppers.  We normally 
start cutting okra back when it reaches about 6' in height, but we can 
easily let it grow to 8' or more.  Beds are 5' center to center and the 
okra has to be cut to keep open picking paths.

Here is a thought I had for more manageable poles: drive T posts and 
then slip over them capped PVC pipe.  6-8' T posts and about 8' 1.5"-2" 
PVC that would extend the height 2-3'.  T posts are more easily set and 
removed than wood poles.  Has anyone had experience keeping shade cloth 
up on poles?


Tom's "snow fence" query:  What is "snow"?  Does not compute.  Need 
more data.

Willie in central Texas

Willie, ONWARD!  Through the fog!
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