Ask a Question forum: Shade cloth

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Alton, Illinois
gardenurse
Jun 13, 2017 7:35 AM CST
Hey everyone, I just joined the forum and I can't believe all the knowledge everyone has. I have a question about shade cloth. Does anyone use shade cloth over their vegetable garden to help keep the intense sun from burning the plants? Year after year my plants continue to burn once the heat and humidity kicks in. I've found a pretty good source for the shade cloth, but wondering if anyone has any experience with it. Thanks
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 13, 2017 8:08 AM CST
Shade cloth works. Remember that there are different types and different colors; each providing a specific amount of shading. You need to construct some type of framework; it should be strong as wind may be a factor at some point.

This is a PVC frame we made mostly to cover the blueberry plants with bird netting but it could work for shade cloth as well.
Thumb of 2017-06-13/greene/a6e894

I just did a quick search on Google Images using the key words 'shade cloth frame for vegetable garden' and saw tons of good ideas for frames to hold up the shade cloth.

Good luck and take photos! Thumbs up

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Alton, Illinois
gardenurse
Jun 13, 2017 10:05 AM CST
Thank you for your reply. Your framework is exactly what I had in mind to hold the shade cloth. I'll post pictures when I finish it :thankyou for your help.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
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greene
Jun 13, 2017 10:56 AM CST
FYI, we were cheap and used thin wall PVC.
If you opt to go with PVC, my advice would be to buy the thickest you can and plan to disassemble it during the off season so it will last longer. PVC can get weaker when exposed to the sun; the pipe and/or fittings could crack if impacted suddenly.
(See this link:)
http://www.nacopvc.com/c/tech-...

Or...option #2
You could try working with the gray colored Schedule 80 PVC pipe. It is much heavier/thicker than what I used, plus with a coat of white water based latex paint to protect the pipe and fittings from the UV rays, it should last a good long while. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 13, 2017 11:17 AM CST
May I add that for a veggie garden, if you just position the shade cloth to cover the middle of the day, so your garden will get the morning and later afternoon sun, your plants will then be sure of getting enough sun to produce what you want to eat, too.

Most veggies do fine in full sun, so I'm wondering, how often are you watering your garden? A veggie plot in full growth will need deep watering every single day in the morning unless there is a LOT of rain. Many people thing "oh, it rained, I don't need to water" but often there's only a tiny bit of rain, the plants and soil surface are wet but the soil didn't get nearly a deep enough soaking. Our kids' garden gets an hour of watering every morning when we're in full production. In our sandy soil, that's just barely enough. Our garden gets sun all day, in Florida.

Another important thing you can do to keep your plants from burning is mulch around them with hay or straw. It will insulate the soil from the heat, and also keep the sun from beating down on it, which of course keeps it cooler and keeps more moisture in the soil for longer so the plants can get it before it evaporates. About 3in. deep hay around each plant makes a huge difference here.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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