Cheap DIY Shade Cloth

Edymnion(7a)April 19, 2012

I've got some pawpaw tree seeds rooting right now, so its time I finally turned my attention to getting shade cloth for them once they sprout.

I checked around the local places, no one carried it, so I went online. Was having a bit of sticker shock at how much this stuff cost, but then came my eureka moment. I found a picture with closeups of the various densities of weaves and it hit me. "This stuff is just glorified screen door meshing!"

$30 for a roll of shade cloth, or $5 for an equivalent amount of screen door mesh. No brainer there!

My test rig, some cut screen door mesh two layers thick laid crisscross over the top half of a wire tomato cage with some twist ties to hold it in place. Put over one of my pepper seedling projects (long story, hit the hot pepper forum for details) that was struggling a bit with the sun, and viola.

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Man, that's an awesome skull!

Is there any way you can set up a test to check the screen for light transmission compared to the real thing?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:33PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

That's exactly what I did for my paw paws, works great. For some I made a chicken wire cage in place of the tomato cage. You can also make a teepee type structure with bamboo sticks tied together a the top.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 8:35PM
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Heh, would require me to actually shell out way too much money for the real thing.

Just from messing around with it, I'd say one layer of screen mesh is probably 20-30% shade. I've got two layers on there in the picture, and it looks to be roughly 50% to me (with the 100% being the shade from the carport there at the bottom).

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:18PM
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