Lettuce Plants
Q.

best air temperature for growing vegetables

Zone Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | Anonymous added on December 30, 2017 | Answered

How can I garden in summer (I'm in Brisbane Australia)? The surface temperature is 46 degrees Celsius I Put a 75% shade cloth over some plants and that reduced the temperature to 36 degrees Celsius. When I wet it the temperature went down by two degrees but the shade cloth was dry in 6 minutes. I thought of building a shade cloth structure, but that probably will not work either as only 25% of the available light is getting through. Would it work if I placed the shade cloth on or very close to the ground (to shade the soil) and planted my lettuce or whatever through holes in it? Perhaps I should wait for winter. Thank you, Norm.

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Downtoearthdigs
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 30, 2017

Gardening in extreme heat is definitely a challenge, but there are some techniques that should help. Perhaps you could place the shade cloth only on one side of the plants, as a barrier to block the sun during the hottest part of the day. You could also try using a garden lattice that lets some light through. If you use shade cloth or any mulch on the ground and plant vegetables through it, make sure it is light in color, because dark colors will actually cause the soil to absorb more heat.

Options for keeping the garden watered include soakers or drip irrigation with the lines covered with mulch, or olla irrigation:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/containers/olla-watering-systems.htm

Look for plants, varieties, and gardening techniques that originated in very hot regions, since they will do better in your climate. Here are some other ideas:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/environmental/heat-stress-plants.htm
https://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/07/16/some-vegetables-cant-take-the-heat-but-others-thrive-during-hot-times/

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