Learn How to Setup and Install Greenhouse Shade Cloths and Nets
The most important of these growth conditions is a relatively warm temperature, which should neither be too cold nor too hot.
- The maintenance of the ideal greenhouse temperature is achieved with a wide variety of measures including misting systems, water barrels and automatic thermostats.
Whats and Whys
Of all these measures, typically greenhouse shade cloths rank high in many gardeners’ estimation. This is especially true for gardeners with their greenhouses are located in areas where the summers can get too hot and too humid. Then again, all gardeners are still well-advised to consider shade cloths in their greenhouses because of the many benefits provided by these coverings.
Before we discuss the steps on how to install a greenhouse shade cloth, let’s first discuss the whats and whys of said covering on the roof and walls of the gardening structure.
- Greenhouse shade cloths are made from many types of materials with the most common being loosely-woven polyester, which comes in varying intensities between 5% and 95% to provide the required shade.
- Experts recommend the middle-range of 40% to 60% shade density for most plant varieties although tropical plants like orchids require as much as 75% shade.
Why are shade cloths important in greenhouses?
- The main reason is that shade cloths block out the sun’s direct rays from entering the greenhouse, which then leads to secondary reasons.
- The energy costs in the greenhouse become lower while the plants are at lower risks for irradiation damage, both of which mean greater savings for the gardener.
- Plus, the right placement of shade cloths aids in proper ventilation inside the greenhouse.
Indeed, shade cloths over greenhouses are important investments for gardeners.
It should be emphasized, nonetheless, that the proper placement of shade cloths are as important – even more important, if truth be told – as the type of shade cloths chosen.
Read on and find out how to properly install a shade cloth over your greenhouse and, thus, get more value for your money.
Steps in Installing
1. Installing a shade cloth is relatively easy.
- The necessary tools and materials include a tape measure, a heavy-duty staple gun and shark bite S-hook combo kit as well the shade cloth.
- An assistant will speed up the work, too.
2. With the use of a tape measure, you must measure the width and length of the roof so that the shade cloth can properly drape down the sides of the greenhouse from the roof itself.
- Then, you should also measure from the top of the greenhouse’s roof to up to two-thirds down both sides.
- When measuring, be sure that the shade cloth will connect to the frames of the greenhouse and that it will not overhang on either side.
3. Keep in mind that the sides of the structure should not be totally covered, thus, the two-thirds measurement mentioned above.
- This way, direct sunlight can still enter the greenhouse through the sides instead of completely blocking it out.
- Sunlight is still essential in making the plants thrive with the shade cloth in place to control it to the desired levels instead of frying the plants, in a manner of speaking.
4. Another way to measure the amount of shade cloth necessary is to actually unroll it across the greenhouse’s roof and then letting it drape over the side.
- There should be at least one foot of shade cloth hanging on both sides of the structure. Then, pull the shade cloth into its proper position, which will require straightening as you go along.
- However, take note that this second method of cutting the shade cloth to its right size can be difficult to do when the greenhouse is a big structure.
- This is only applicable for small structures where clambering up the greenhouse is safe, fast and easy.
5. Let’s assume that you will go with the first method of measuring the structure before draping the shade cloth over it.
- After getting the appropriate measurements, your next step is to cut the shade cloth accordingly.
- To get a better idea, let’s assume that your greenhouse measures 12 square feet by 9 feet tall.
- So as to cover the roof as well as the two sides of the structure, you will need one long piece measuring 12 feet wide by 24 feet in length as well as two separate sides measuring 12 feet in width by 6 feet in length.
6. After cutting the shade cloth, you and your assistant will then roll it out over the roof of the greenhouse and then allow it to drop on each side of the structure.
- The greenhouse will then be covered in all sides.
- Adjust the shade cloth’s long section so that equal portions are draped over each side of the greenhouse.
- You should straighten the shade cloth so that it fits the greenhouse almost perfectly.
- Again, you will need an assistant and a ladder to complete this step.
7. Starting at one corner of the roof’s top frame, you should staple the shade cloth into place.
- Be sure to pull the shade cloth as snugly as possible on the frame so that it will not be easily blown off by the slightest wind.
- The best spacing for the staples is every 12 inches although you can go as low as 8 inches spacing.
- Then do the opposite side.
- Pull the shade cloth with just a medium pressure to smooth out the wrinkles.
- Pulling too hard can tear out the shade cloth because of the resistance from the stapled part on the other side.
- Pulling too easy will result in too many wrinkles.
8. Continue stapling on the two shorter sides in the same manner.
- The shade cloth should then be secured on all the short and long sides.
- One tip: Staple in the same direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise, so that a pattern is established.
9. Attach the sharp bite S hooks on the corners of the greenhouse.
- These hooks should ideally be 1 to 2 feet starting from the top of the structure, which will then allow for rolling up the shade cloth when needed.
10. The last step is to carefully trim the edges of the excess shade cloth.
- This way, you end up with a neat, professional and finished look.
Extended Resources: Shade Cloths and Nets for Greenhouses
1. How to Shade a Greenhouse – eHow.com
- A greenhouse is a great way to grow plants, but sometimes the inside temperatures can become unbearable due to the sun shining inside.
- To keep your plants healthy and growing, you will need to know how to shade a greenhouse to keep some of that direct sunlight out, and help lower the temperatures inside.
2. How to Install a Greenhouse Shade Net – eHow.com
- Learn how to setup and install a greenhouse shade cloth net and on any green house model, this includes do it yourself greenhouses.
3. Do I need a shade net for my greenhouse? – GardenWeb.com
- This is a popular thread over at the Garden Web forums, read the comments, they get into technical details if you had a rare problem to fix.
4. Light Shade Cloth Requirements – DandBorchids.com
- Shade cloth is used to reduce natural sunlight into a greenhouse.
- Use shade cloth to shade the greenhouse and to control the temperature.
- Shade cloth comes in 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, and 90%.
- Light penetration is greater, and air exchange is worse in present-day polyethylene-covered greenhouses than in glass greenhouse designs used in the past.
- This may lead to disorders in development and appearance of tomato fruit, such as sunscald injury, uneven ripening, and cracks in the skin.
- This project examines the effect of shade on quality and composition of tomato fruit grown in the summer in the northeast USA.
6. Installation of Shade on a Greenhouse – greenhousekits.com – This guide shows you in 5 quick and easy steps you will be done!
Recommended Garden Books on Daily Practices and Basic Principles: