I had noted that the south garden (8 hrs of a day on a sunny day) was performing progressively worse over the years – climate change I surmised from whatever cause. The north garden gets about 3 or 4 hours a day and does much better (three times the production at least). This went against the general assumption of gardening I had learned. The heat and drought-like conditions cause the lack of production in the south garden – the shade in the north results in better performance/production. I had also observed that the garden centers often shade their plants to keep them looking good. One shot shows the line of shade and the plants under the shade screen not heat stressed.
So, make a shade for the south garden. I used white window screen, 3/4″ electrical conduit and self drill/self tap screws.
Results – best year ever for the south garden that I can remember. Not quite as good as the north garden but close, and with about a third of the watering I had been doing the last couple years (I mulch both gardens with shredded leaves). It makes gardening there rewarding again – donating lots of produce to the food pantry. I’m thinking this is the future of gardening in the Midwest/south/south west at least. If the screen were brought down the sides they would act to keep out pests as well.
Happy gardening – a resilient answer to monoculture and remote food sources. I am looking into plant based and panelized screens now.