Shading Plants to Protect them from Heat
Recently, I decided to shade some of my Brussels Sprout plants. In the past I have struggled to get Brussels that are productive. They take too long to mature and they really do not like the heat (kind of like me when I’m pregnant). I have played around with planting them during different times throughout the season and I generally try to mulch them pretty heavily to keep them cooler, but I haven’t had much success. It would be ideal to start them indoors in the summer and then transplant them in late summer/early fall, once the temps have cooled, but I don’t have the space nor enough direct sunlight in my house to make this happen.
This year, I decided to do a little experiment with them. One of my plants is fully shaded, one is partially shaded, and the last one if fully exposed to the sun. So far, my fully shaded plant is doing the best, while the fully exposed plant is looking pretty sad. I’ll keep tracking their progress in hopes of figuring out once in for all how to successfully grow big, beautiful, productive, Brussels Sprouts year after year. I refuse to give up until I get it right! I just love those sprouts too damned much.
Check out the above video to see how I shaded them and what materials I used. You can buy shade cloth specifically for this purpose. I used landscape fabric because I had some lying around and the nice employee at the nursery told me it would work. Either way, you want to use fabric that still allows sunlight thru. Just because they don’t like the heat, doesn’t mean they don’t need sunlight to survive.
Anybody else shade certain plants to help them get thru the hot summer days? Which plants do you protect and how? Tell us in the comments below. I love new ideas!