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Jun 5, 2020 5:38 PM CST
Hope all is well.
My partner and I have a westerly facing top deck, the sun starts to hit the deck around 2pm and we get that the rest of the afternoon. We are using a mixture of containers and tote boxes to hold the soil and veggies. Some of our seeds are starting come up nicely, but there are a few that are taking a while longer, the beans and squash seed. We have chilies, carrots, tomatoes, basil, tyme, beets currently doing good.
I was wondering with the afternoon heat and being on the deck, how moist should we be keeping our soil?
The deck can get fairly hot.
Jun 5, 2020 7:28 PM CST
|Keeping the soil cool and damp are key to success. You could start by filling your containers to the top. The more soil, the cooler it will be. Filling containers only 2/3 to 3/4 full is a waste of space.
Keep the soil damp but be consistent with your water. Watering in morning or every night doesn't matter but consistency does.
Move your pots into a bunch so they are touching - mass makes everyone cooler.
Check the soil often by digging your fingers in to feel for moisture and heat. If the soil feels hot, your plants won't be happy. You can surround the entire bunch with bubble wrap or cardboard (add dry leaves or straw in the space between the pot and cardboard).
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
central ohio (Zone 5b)
Jun 6, 2020 7:32 AM CST
|Sprouting seeds need to not dry out, but you don't want them floating in soup either. If it's hot, you may need to sprinkle a little multiple times to keep seedling moist.
Once they have true leaves and are putting out root systems it is important to not keep them so soggy. Let the top inch or so dry, but not the soil at the bottom (so, really, the roots are still not drying out, since they go all the way down) A good way to check if the soil is still moist at the bottom is to try lifting the pot. A dry pot will be much lighter than a damp one. Since you are using makeshift containers, did you remember to drill holes in the bottom? (I think so, since you have them sitting in trays ) Allowing extra moisture to escape makes getting the watering balance much easier.
Western exposures can be tricky. Plants aren't getting as much sun as they really like, but the sun they do get is hot and sudden and makes them wilt. Doesn't mean you can't grow anything, but if some things fail, it might not be something you can control. I still struggle with some of my western exposures.
Southwest U.S. (Zone 7a)
Jun 6, 2020 8:00 AM CST
|I find it helps a lot to shade the pots. Afternoon sun will heat up the potting mix enough to kill the roots, but the top part of the plant has air circulation, it gets hot but not like the parts in the pot. Did you ever make sun tea? That's what's happening to the roots!
I just lean some firewood up against the pot, you can also use cardboard, newspaper, shade cloth, empty pots, yard art--be creative! Whatever will shade the pot but still let the plant get its sun.
Thank you for sharing your deck garden, may it grow and prosper!
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