Is anyone using shade cloth? I think it is time for me to invest in some and was just wondering what folks here are using and what might be the best bang for the buck.
I've used open weave burlap that comes on a roll and a plastic shade tarp at different times. You can get shade tarps from Harbor Freight for a good price. I use them when it is very hot and dry.
Some people use mulch in hot dry climates but we have periods of heavy rain and cool temps. sometimes so I stick with the shade cloth when needed.
I have tried growing peppers in three different greenhouses that have 30%, 50%, and 65% and the ones in 65% look the best as far as color goes. The ones in 30% were a bit more compact, so with shorter internodes, possibly more pods, but they didn't look as nice and showed stress a lot faster once it got into July and August. All in all, I'm now growing most of them in the 65% greenhouse, and to compensate for the longer plants, I cut them back a little more often. They DO produce very well though and set flowers better.
What do the %s refer to, the amount of sun deflected?
I use old sheets, but i only have to shade them when the temps hit the high 90's(which isn't too often) and it's only for a few hours midday at that.
Somebody in the veggy forum said he uses tulle, doubled up.
When you buy it, it is called 65% shade cloth. That is the amount of shade, which also means there is 35% of the light coming in.
I've used burlap and black weed-block. Neither hold up well to wind if you staple them to a frame. Growerssupply.com will make up any size you want, with grommets installed, in several different percentages and colors. I've got a 12' X32' piece I use on the GH that's lasted four years and it still looks excellent. Think I got the 90%.
Discerning almost lasts forever. I have some on the #1 greenhouse that was put on for a shade house in 1986!
Also look for the metal cleats intended for attaching shade cloth. You hammer the cloth to wood with them. I then attached a trim piece of wood on top to make it more permanent.
Here's my setup from a few years back. It stayed up for 4 years before I took it down. It never did tear loose or deteriorate on its own. In fact I still have the cloth and use it for other projects.
PS That seam you see running down the middle - that's where I used zip ties to attach 2 runs of cloth together.
This post was edited by mecdave on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 9:45
Thank you guys, very informative. I will be looking to get some soon as the heat here is pushing 100 degrees daily now with hardly any cloud cover at all.
You know, you could scab in some 1X on that structure to make an arbor, and plant some Mustang grapes on it. Then, you'd have vino and peppers... ;-)
I did try a couple grape plants there at the time, but they didn't make it. It's a poor location, both in soil quality (granite sand) and heat/lack of shade and moisture. Mustangs probably would love it. ;)
Interesting fact: I once read that more grapes grow wild in Texas than anywhere else.