Green house is a common plant cultivation technique popular all over the globe. The basic idea of a green house is to maintain an ideal temperature and atmosphere for plant growth, irrespective of the weather conditions outside the target area. They provide a cooler atmosphere during the day and hotter temperature at night. Such ideal conditions are made possible with the help of a shade cloth or in other words, shade netting. They are specifically effective in hot and humid locations where sunlight is in plenty and is merciless throughout the day. So let us understand in detail as to what a greenhouse shade cloth is all about.

What Is Shade Cloth?

tunnel installed for taking care crops
The shade cloth provide a ideal protection to the crops against the UV.

A shade cloth is a garden fabric that can be used for covering a certain location so as to block out any direct exposure to sunlight in that selected area. They are often placed covering the roofs of greenhouses so that the intense heat coming through sunlight does not directly affect the plants growing inside.

Shade cloths are generally available in three main material types. The first and the most inexpensive one is woven, which is usually black in color. The edges of this type of shade netting need to be taped so as to avoid fraying. Knitted ones are a bit more expensive but they eliminate the need for taping the ends. It is usually way more reliable and long lasting.

Finally there is also an option known as an alumitex shade cloth. Being the most expensive of all, this type is good at reflecting back harmful radiations as well as unwanted heats imprinting on greenhouse roofs. As the name suggests, the material is made of aluminized threads.

When using shade netting in your greenhouse, make a note as to remove it at night. Otherwise, the temperature inside will be lower than what is necessary during these hours, which may have a negative effect on the plants. It is in fact as important as placing shade netting on a hot summer day.      

Why Use Shade Cloth?

flowers inside in tunnel made with shade net
The shade cloth are very resistant and durable, providing ideal protection to your crops.

From the already laid out facts, the importance of this garden netting is quite clear as daylight. However, let us see some more of such facts that support the use of such a garden fabric for your greenhouse.

A shade cloth mainly helps block the direct sunlight during day time. This means that the cost of keeping a cool atmosphere inside the greenhouse is considerably reduced. Such an energy saving effect applies to evenings as well. The shade cloth works the other way around during the later hours i.e. evenings. The temperature inside is increased in this case, bringing it back to ideal conditions. Thus, a lot of energy savings are connected with the use of shade netting.

Shade cloth also acts as a protection for plants against effects such as irradiation damage. Whatever the weather outside, these special fabrics protect the plants inside, and provide them the ideal temperature and atmosphere for optimal growth.

Ventilation is of prime importance when it comes to plant cultivation in enclosed structures, especially in the case of greenhouses. A shade netting aids in this aspect as well. These nettings allow for proper air passage and hence there remains the ideal air flow ventilation inside the greenhouse.

Installing Shade Cloth for Your Green House

tunnel made with shade net in garden
The installation Process of the shade cloth is very easy.

Greenhouse shade cloth may be installed in several ways. They usually come taped on all four sides with an inclusion of eyelets or grommets in every two feet of its length. Even the knitted type of shade netting mentioned earlier needs to be taped so as to facilitate the installation of grommets. The easiest way of installing these garden fabrics is just laying them on top of the greenhouse roofs.

Placing hooks on either side so as to hold them in position is a very nice idea if you have a base to attach it. You can also make use of the ground for the same if a base is not available. Ropes or bungees can help hold the position sternly and rigidly. Thus, the installation process is quite simple and you need not hire anyone else to do the job for you.

Many greenhouses today have roof vents provided for proper ventilation. When using a woven shade cloth over such roofs, most people simply cut the opening of the fabric. However, a more effective installation can be done with the help of knitted type shade cloths. The flexibility and stretchiness of the material allow for the opening and closing of these roof vents. Initially, while installing these cloths on top of the roofs, make a note to keep them a bit loose at the positions of the vents. The cloth should be firmly and tightly taped at the sides while relatively smooth at the vents or opening so as to facilitate proper air passage points.

tunnel providing protection to crops
The shade net avoid the extreme external weather, stabilizing the internal temperature for care of your crops.

Alumitex shade cloths can also be installed by a normal greenhouse owner with some very basic knowledge readily available. The installation need not be complicated in order for it to be effective. A simple way of installation can be made possible with a rope running from one sidewalk to the other (from one end of the green house to the other through the centre or peak). The rope can be held in place with the help of hooks and shade netting can be hung from that.  However, at the end of the day, a green house shade cloth would surely prove invaluable for your plant garden.

Shade Cloth –An Important Investment for Gardeners

Even though sunlight is an inevitable element for plant growth, excess heat from it can have a negative impact on the growth and subsequent plant yield. The right choice of shade cloth and its proper installation can be an invaluable investment for any gardening needs.

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