Lower South

July, 2008
Regional Report

Tool or Gardening Product

Shade Cloth
You may be familiar with shade cloth used over greenhouses to keep temperatures cooler in the warm season when a clear plastic cover would create an oven inside the structure. Strips of shade cloth work well in late summer to keep garden beds cooler, too. Use sections of PVC pipe bent into hoops to form a Quonset-type structure over the row, and then drape the shade cloth over that. Leave it on for several weeks after planting to give young plants a less stressful and thus more successful start on life.

Clever Gardening Technique

Tip-Layering Tomatoes
Tip-layer tomato plants that are looking worse for the wear due to the accumulated stresses of heat, mites, and foliar diseases. Bend the end of a shoot into a hole 4 inches deep and cover the stem with soil, leaving the end of the shoot sticking out. In a few weeks the stems will be well rooted if the soil is kept moist. Then the "mother plants" can be cut away and removed along with the diseased and infested foliage.

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