Asked on Aug 10, 2016

Inexpensive "cover" or pergola

Frances Grant CampbellPhillip WilliamsGeorget
+6

Answered

I live in very dry, arid, summertime hot community. Daytime temps can reach 105 sometimes, desert like conditions although altitude is near 5,000 feet. I lost several fruit trees to last winter's cold early temps and have lost most of the shade in the yard, where many peonies and roses are planted. Need to find inexpensive solution to create shade from extreme, intense sunlight. Cannot afford wooden structure and regular tent like cover won't last due to strong winds at times (50-60 MPH). Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
6 answers
  • Haysha S.
    Haysha S.
    on Aug 11, 2016

    A really cheap and simple Idea is to make a frame out of simple pvc, and put a tarp over the top. You'd need to figure out a way to fasten it to the ground so that the wind doesn't blow it away. That would depend on what the pipes would be resting on. Good luck!

  • Pam Byrd
    Pam Byrd
    on Aug 11, 2016

    I wonder if it would help to keep a mister on them during the hottest part of the day?

  • Frances Grant Campbell
    Frances Grant Campbell
    on Aug 12, 2016

    Thanks for the suggestion. I have resorted to setting the sprinkler to day time just to keep the moisture on the plants. I know I'm wasting water but it's either that or no plants. I have the in ground sprinkler set to run 15 minutes every hour throughout the hottest part of the afternoon. It has helped some. Thanks again.

  • Georget
    Georget
    on Aug 12, 2016

    We found aluminum framed window screens people had for sale because of putting new windows in on craigslist and placed them close to our plants teepee style. They don't need complete shade but just a bit from the hot afternoon sun. We have also used the orange snow fencing ( its net-like with larger holes and is flexible like netting) and have placed it about 2 feet above the plants anchoring with re-bar and tying it in place with yarn or if you want it to look nicer you could anchor it by weaving short shepherds hooks in and out of the holes. The fencing can be doubled up to create more shade. I think you're placing the shade material too far above the plants and the wind can catch it. You might also try moving them closer to your house to shield it from the wind.

  • Phillip Williams
    Phillip Williams
    on Aug 12, 2016

    You have a very difficult situation that is going to take a multi-pronged approach to resolve. The first point is that you are not going to be able to put up anything that will withstand 50-60 MPH winds, unless you spend a significant amount of money. This means that you are going to have to find plants that will take the sun during the summer. I would suggest talking to a local horticulturist or nurseryman who "knows what grows". Lastly, get rid of the sprinkler and put in a drip irrigation system. These can be done by almost anyone who is the least bit handy and they can be put in a bit at the time. (Using a sprinkler and wetting the whole plant is not what you want to be doing.) I know that letting go of some of your favorite plants is going to be tough, but you can't fight mother nature and win. Far better to work with her rather than against her... Good luck!

  • Frances Grant Campbell
    Frances Grant Campbell
    on Aug 12, 2016

    Thanks for the suggestion about the PVC being too far above the plants. My tomato plants that year WERE almost 8 feet tall! I have drip irrigation in place, it's the intense sunlight and heat that is doing in the plants. I know it's not good to wet down the plants, especially during the sunshine but I was a last resort. I got some re-bar and took it to a fabricator to bend for me, now I will push it into the ground and try the suggestion with the orange snow fencing. I have several friends that are cattle ranchers and they have miles of the fencing that is almost destroyed from the harsh winters and all the snow. I'm sure they will give me all I want just to get rid of it!! Thanks again everyone.......here's to another growing season next year. This one has not been fun.

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