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Subject:  Shade Coth

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Frankie Goes

Canton Ohio

An old timer farmer dropped by my house yesterday and I showed him my patch. He was really puzzled why I had shade cloth over the plants. He noted that in his fifty years of farming he always considered it "not a bad thing" if some of the leaves wilted or burned. His view is that a small amount of stress on the plant in June and July will increase growth rate. He claimed that plants respond to stress and that burnt leaves increases the plants metabolism. I know there is a trend to use shade cloth but I'm wondering if there is something to what the old timer was saying. I'm wondering if I should pull off the shade cloth and then put it back on in August.

7/2/2012 10:13:25 AM

cntryboy

Circleville, OH

well there is always a lesson in old time wisdom, but in general we are pushgin these plants harder than they should be pushed, and if it's only a few leaves burned here and there he is probably correct, these plant respond quickly when they are beat to death by hail and wind. However pumpkins are not a hot weather plant -- there are some that do better in the heat than others, but in the hundreds day after day and scorching sun they need some protection from the extremes. If you burn the growing tip, that vine will not continue to grow any more.

7/2/2012 10:53:40 AM

cojoe

Colorado

Mr bryson used shade cloth 30% to grow the world record.

7/2/2012 12:13:46 PM

VTSteve

South Hero, VT

Does the old timer grow giant pumpkins? What is the official weight of his largest pumpkin if he is a grower?

I feel it's best to follow the lead of the heavy hitters if you want to be a heavy hitter yourself.

No offense intended toward the old timer, but times change, and new growing techniques enable us to grow bigger almost every year.

Keep the shade cloth.

7/2/2012 1:27:10 PM

Frankie Goes

Canton Ohio

No offense taken and no the old timer doesn't grow giant pumpkins. But there is a danger to simply following your "heavy hitters" and dismissing advice from people who were farming when we were in diapers. I spent a good deal of money on shade cloth and maple syrup. But when I'm told that a little bit of stress on a plant is a good thing I sit up and take notice. In horse racing they pin fire the horses legs to stress them into building a thicker bone. Maybe the same applies to giant pumpkins.

7/2/2012 2:25:38 PM

VTSteve

South Hero, VT

Frankie,try some plants with shade cloth, and some without. Compare end results and share them. I'm always ready to admit when I'm wrong about something.

By the way, I don't think you wasted your money on maple syrup, as long as it was end of the season syrup. That stuff is full of hormones, prebiotics, vitamins and minerals. I plan to get some next year from a farmer I know here in VT and use it diluted on my plants as a foliar spray.

7/2/2012 4:11:03 PM

phat joe

Zurich, Ontario Canada

I had problems with burning leaves. I built U shaped boxes to shade new growth. I move them evey day as the vines grow. All was good, then soon as the shaded leaves were exposed to the sun they burned any way. Needless to say, I removed all the boxes and will hope for the best. Another trick is to grow extra leaves in the first place and cull the ones that are damaged!!!

7/2/2012 7:24:56 PM

Linus Van Pelt

Menomonie, WI (mail@gr8pumpkin.net)

Go ahead follow his advice...I'll take your place at the weigh off

7/2/2012 7:45:06 PM

Linus Van Pelt

Menomonie, WI (mail@gr8pumpkin.net)

Also if this was true the farmers would not be irrigating their fields

7/2/2012 7:45:58 PM

shazzy

Joliet, IL

Shade cloth works nice for many different uses....all for cooling. Small sections over main vines and females works nice in conjunction with misting system at increasing odds of nice development and setting. I use bigger sections over early plants after greenhouse removal for acclimation. I have used it across whole plants in the past on a 104 degree day some years,back but am not set up for it now. Lots of misting and watering at same time does the trick nicely.

7/2/2012 10:07:56 PM

cntryboy

Circleville, OH

phat joe,
Try something that reduces the amount of shade provided for your tips. In my opinion, totally blocking the sun with cardboard and then exposing the leaves to full sun is why they still burned. We use 30% shade (70% light) of reemay cloth and it works really well -- the fast growing tips get filtered light and heat until they are big enough to adapt before the cloth is moved (about 3-4 days). We have gotton more burn than normal this year on the side vines because we haven't been able to shade them all=-- and I expect those leaves to die early, but the main is the lifeline, it gets shaded all of the time.

7/2/2012 11:13:56 PM

phat joe

Zurich, Ontario Canada

That is a good point cntry boy!!! Thanks!!!

7/9/2012 8:18:01 AM

Total Posts: 12
 
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