For what it's worth-shading dahlias in too much sun...

Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 10a)

I've been boohooing the effect the super-strong FL sun has on my dahlias long enough. I put up the shade covering today. It was very easy to make, if anyone ever has to do it. You can buy them pre-made, but I couldn't afford that. Went to Home Depot, bought 50% shade cloth roll 6' x 20' and some plastic grommets. Pushed the grommets in easy peezy. Put some long nails in along the top of the fence and hooked the grommets on and voila, instant hillbilly kludge shade blanket. It took me so long to decide to put it up, mostly because it was 50%, not 30% shade, which I would have preferred. Not sure why, but it was almost double the price, so thought I'd try this. I'm just worried they won't get enough sun. But then, I decided the sun is so strong, that even at 50%, it might be comparable to regular zones' sun strength. We'll see. If I get no blooms, then I'll know.

Thumbnail by queequeg_1
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You have amazing devotion to your dahlias! Let us know how well it does.

Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 10a)

Dedication or obsession? Methinks it's a thin line.

P.S. Nice grass, right? Darn lawn guy, supposed to come every 10 days-more like every 8, then 15, then 7, then 21...sigh.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

No need to try and get too technical and spoil the fun.

We just changed mowing guys. The former guy just loved to blow all clippings into the garden giving me way too much work. As often as he was told not to do it he continued and now he's history.

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Wow, I couldn't stand looking at that shade cloth all day instead of a green gardenbed. You must be truely dedicated. Anything I had to do that for woulld be outta here.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Carrie is a very devoted and dedicated dahlia lover. More power to her!

Thumbnail by pirl
North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Well, I would love to be looking at the actual dahlias blooming. Do you ever uncover them?

Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 10a)

Haha, Oh to laugh! I do uncover them, actually. On my days off, the shade cloth comes down. Then I can see them, work among them, etc. The other days, I am not home from 7 to 7, so I wouldn't be looking at them anyway. This is in the back yard, of course, with a privacy fence.
Right now, it's been raining so much, so often, there are very few blooms to see. When there is a lot of rain, I also leave the cloth off, but if I think it will rain, then the sun will come back out to cook the wet, tender blooms, I will keep covered. Lots of variables.
They're worth it, to me.

Thanks for the pretty, pirl. Who is that and do you have lots of blooms yet?

North Pole, AK(Zone 1)

I agree with Pirl. Some of us go to what seem to others to be ridiculous measures to counter the challenges our geographic location may present in our endeavor to enjoy the plants we unwittingly become addicted to.
Whew...that was a long sentence...LOL

I unpot well over 100 Oriental/Trumpet/hybrid lilies each fall, store them in baggies in their fridge, repot them in the spring...Tell my self I'm nuts...Until I see that first bloom, smell the first intoxicating evening whiff and I'm hooked and know I'll do it all over again. Along with the Gloriosa lily tubers, begonia bulbs, brugmansia plants and whatever else I have room to store for next year's explosion of the senses.

queequeg_1's dedicated/obsessive tasks made perfect sense to me....LOL



This message was edited Aug 10, 2010 2:21 PM

North Pole, AK(Zone 1)

Cross-posted...See? I knew it was worth it to her!

Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 10a)

Ooooohhhh-all those bulbs! Explosion of the senses is no exaggerasion I bet! I wanna see your gardens in bloom time! Thank you. I think our "hobbies" (obsessions) keep us off the streets, no? Least that's what I tell DH.

North Pole, AK(Zone 1)

LOL...My DH tells everyone he enables my addiction because it keeps me out of the bars (I'm a cheap date. 1/2 a glass of wine and I'm sleep). I told him it'd be cheaper for me to drink....But not as pretty.

Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 10a)

OMG-me too! I can't drink for anything. But you are sooo right about how much cheaper it would be. LOL. When I think of the money spent...shudder...

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It's Hollyhill Jester, Carrie, without any white streaks showing yet. A lot of blooms are colored a bit differently this year. Blame it on the heat.

I admire people who do whatever it takes to grow their choice of plants and Chocolatemoose certainly shows her devotion with all the potting and unpotting on an annual basis.

Many of my lilies are behind portable trellises to keep the rotten deer from eating the buds. They have no interest in open flowers, just buds. I keep moving the many trellises to keep the lilies protected.

Can't take even a sip of wine but vodka with cranberry juice goes down just fine.

Thumbnail by pirl
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

That looks pretty slick queeq! Let us know how it works.

Ft Lauderdale, FL(Zone 10a)

Another option for filtering the sun would be screening Carrie. The screening that is on the pool gate, around the pool, filters about 30% of the suns rays. It helps many of my plants make it through May, June and July when the sun is most intense. There are quite a few plants that do well inside the pool screening. They begin to wilt if I transplant them out into the yard during this time of the year without acclimating them first. Just the fact that they don't wilt inside the screening tells me the screening is definitely filtering some sun. Another benefit, of the screening, is that the rain water will go through it and water the plants. You can also see through it so won't be as noticeable as the black shade cloth.

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