Shade Cloth

Bill_Missy(8b)July 12, 2014

Hello guys,

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.


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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.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:53AM
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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.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:46PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

What do the %s refer to, the amount of sun deflected?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:09PM
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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.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:06PM
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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.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:47PM
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I've used burlap and black weed-block. Neither hold up well to wind if you staple them to a frame. 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%.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 7:19AM
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Discerning almost lasts forever. I have some on the #1 greenhouse that was put on for a shade house in 1986!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:18AM
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Mecdave Zone 8/HZ 9

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

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:42AM
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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.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:20PM
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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... ;-)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:13PM
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Mecdave Zone 8/HZ 9

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.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:33PM
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