Hi, we garden on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada's and have a
large willow tree on the East side of the garden. The beds that are
closest to the tree (about 20' to the west) are planted in melons this
year and we noticed that those melon plants are very stunted, while
the beds farther away are doing fine. Yesterday I watched the beds
and the most stunted bed (closest to the willow) doesn't get sun until
11am. Our sun sets around 8pm right now (up to 9 during the longest
days in June) so these plants do get 8 hours of sunlight. After 11 it
gets really really hot and doesn't cool off until evening.
I started to think that maybe the melons might shut down during the
hottest part of the day, and since they missed all of that morning
sun, that might be what's stunting them. Also, could the roots of the
willow be sending something toxic? I have done soil test and come up
with 6.pHs. We use lots of chicken and horse compost. We had soft
rock phosphate every year (our soils are deficient in that product).
Last year I grew beans in the same spot and they did great.
Thanks for your time.
email@example.com (Pat Kiewicz) wrote in message
Thanks everyone so much for your response. The melons were so
stunted, I pulled them out and dug up 2 of the beds. No roots, so it
must be the shade. I have replanted with lettuce, beets and spinach.
The lettuce beds we cover in shade cloth by using concrete mess and
bending it into hoops and covering that with shade cloth. Next summer
I'll plant crops in that spot that do not get stressed by the sun.
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