What to hold down shade cloth

ezzirah011(7a)August 5, 2012

What does everyone use to hold down shade cloth over hoops? I have a frost blanket I was thinking of using as a shade cloth (it is green) but I am not sure how to anchor it down. Rocks? Pins? Are there special clamps you are supposed to use?


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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I normally use U-shaped landscape staples aka anchor pins that are sold in the garden centers right beside the landscape fabric. I use them for everything...landscape fabric, floating row cover, shade cloth if it comes all the way down to the ground, and to hold my drip-irrigation t-tape in place.

Usually, when you buy a roll of landscape fabric, a certain number of these U-shaped pins come with it, but then they also sell them in plastic bags, usually right beside the landscape fabric. I have bought them--maybe a dozen or two in plastic bags--or in a large quantity like 60 or 70 in a box or bag. I'll link an example of the kind of metal pin I'm talking about. Some stores sell green plastic ones, or biodegradeable ones.

If the shade fabric is suspended over something tall, like a row of tomato plants, I use many clothes pins, or zip-ties, to attach the fabric to the tops of the cages or other support structure that I'm using.

If I have hoops over the plants with the shade cloth over the hoops, but then the shade cloth doesn't reach down to the ground, I use small bungee cords. It depends on what I have in that area to attach the cords to.

You also can use lengths of electrical conduit, 1 x 2 lumber, etc. laid on top of the shade cloth. When you use floating row cover that has to be secured to the ground to keep bugs from crawling under it, it is important that what you use keep the cloth securely on the ground, but with shade cloth, as long as it doesn't whip around so much that it is beating up the plants, it does not have to be as tightly secured.

There are various kinds of devices made to be used with shade cloth and row cover and they are easier to find online at places that sell these materials than to find in stores.

I used to buy them at Lowe's in smaller quantities, but since I buy so many of them, I just order a box of 1000 online and then they last me a few years.


Here is a link that might be useful: Example of a Landscape Staple/Anchor Pin

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:50AM
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I make much of my supplies fron scrap lumber or some other kind of scrap I pick up. I have an advantage over many of you, that is being retired. I have more time to waste (or play) with junk that I find. I have not used shade cloth of row cover yet, but plan to.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:40PM
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Like Dawn stated there are many options and I use several different methods. Then it seems every year I change something a little. This year the sweet potatoes that I was planting in mid July wasn't surviving with the plastic containers around them or even just covered lightly with mulch. I ended up using the squares I had cut to use on the top of my cages with a small limb next to the plant and made a small teepee. I never lost another plant. On them I just laid a few objects the wind wouldn't blow away on top of the corners in 3-4 places. On shade cloth or floating row cover it depends on whether I'm taking it to the ground or not. And also how the cloth/cover is laying. If laying flat across the top of a cage the shade cloth can be held with a few pieces of light wire as it will let some wind through and doesn't create the resistance that row cover does. They make some special attachments that work well but I don't use them often. If the cover is touching the ground I will usually throw some dirt on top in a few areas and it will hold it down. Fast,easy and cheap. If not touching the ground I advise using something to keep the area you are pulling on from ripping out. One example is here: http://www.territorialseed.com/product/11130/171 . Another can be seen at the link I will attach below. You can make them also. This might give you some ideas. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: Row cover clips

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:59PM
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This was my first time to use a shade for my tomatoes and I'm just trying to keep them alive, we placed 3 cattle panels and made them arch , I thought I would have some beans or vines that would make the shade for the tomatoes, but didn't get those planted and so I took some old sheets and used a hognose pliers with the hooks that fit it and attached the sheets to the cattle panel. It makes a nice shade and was easy to attach. Those pliers are found in a lumber yard or a place that has cattle supply. And it was real easy to do, I can still walk under it to pick tomatoes.
Rita in Washita

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 8:49AM
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Thank you for the wonderful replies and great ideas!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 6:22AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I mailed floating row cover to you on August 1, 2012, and today the post office delivered it back to me with a note that the house at the address I sent it to is a vacant house as of 8/11/12. I think maybe I incorrectly copied your address down onto the box when I was addressing it.

I didn't keep the email containing your snail mail address, so if you still want the floating row cover, please email me your snail mail address again and I'll mail it again.



    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:13PM
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That is weird. I typed in the right address in the email. I will email it to you again. You are so kind for doing all this!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

It has happened before when some of us have been sending stuff to Carol. I just think that the USPS is crazy. Or, I copied it down wrong from e-mail. It could have been me....but I am betting it was the USPS.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:11PM
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