Sunlight is the best source of energy for growing plants, but too much sun can cause stress on plants. A really great way to protect plants from heat build-up and moisture evaporation is to provide shade.
According to an article in Growing in the Garden, there are 3 reasons to provide afternoon shade:
- Morning sun provides plenty of energy through photosynthesis without the excessive heat stress of prolonged all-day sun exposure.
- Providing shade for plants can lower the amount of moisture loss through transpiration (evaporation of water from plant leaves).
- Most vegetables are stressed when temperatures are above 100℉. Shade keeps direct sun off foliage, and the shaded area can be about 10℉ cooler than areas without shade.
The most common way to shade plants is to use shade cloth to control the amount of sun your plants get daily. Also, using ferns, clovers, and wild grass can also help with shade.
Check out the article Planted Well wrote about various shading options, called “35 Great Shade Gardening Ideas & Shade Cloth Garden Guide.”