Shade cloths provide a way to reduce the ambient temperature inside the greenhouse. It allows filtered light to pass through the panels to keep plants from being scorched and overheating during hot summer months.
Materials and Time Required
1 polypropylene shade cloth: $65.00
1 roll neon colored nylon kite string: $5.00
6 pack camping stakes: $5.00
Installation took one hour with two people.
Tools Used Materials Used
• Broom handle or long stick
• Rubber mallet
• Utility or pocket knife
• Nylon twine
• Polypropylene shade cloth
• Six camping stakes
Note: These steps are an overview only and should not be used specifically as step-by-step instructions. Each project will have its own unique site challenges.
Do I Need a Shade Cloth?
Shade cloths provide the following benefits:
• Cools and lowers inside temperatures of greenhouse.
• Protects plants and seedlings.
• Prolongs life of Solexx greenhouse panels.
• Easy to install and remove.
Note: Shade cloths should be used in tandem with other cooling vehicles. Lighting, temperature controls, fans and ventilation systems work together with shade cloth to provide optimal growing conditions.
Shade Cloth Properties
Shade cloth is available in varying percentages of shade allowance. Most plants grown in a greenhouse require 40% shade during hot, summer months. We purchased an 8×12 polypropylene 55% shade cloth. Make sure to select a shade cloth with reinforced grommets and hemmed edging. Binded edges prevent fraying. High quality shade cloths should last ten to fifteen years with proper care and storage.
• Measure your greenhouse roof before purchasing shade cloth material.
• Black netting cloth should cover the entire greenhouse roof.
• Pick a clear, cool, non-windy and dry day to work.
• Lay out bundled plastic cloth on ground to let it stretch out.
• Using a ladder and broom handle – lift the cloth, stretch out and center over roof. Material can “stretch” over sharp edges and may need to be readjusted by hand.
• Secure grommets with nylon string tied into a slip knot. Bright, neon colored string makes it easy to see even at dusk.
• Cut string to size with utility knife.
• Attach to camp stake that has been pounded into the ground with rubber mallet.
• Remove during winter months and store in garage.
Photos taken by Dawn Hummel.