Prepare Mag: August 2018 - page 26

cover tunnel houses or you can build a structure and cover
the roof with the shade cloth. Again, this is a great way to
provide a bit of shade to cool weather crops that would not
thrive in the heat of summer.
Shade cloth comes in different percentages of shading. You
can get 50% shade, 70%, 80%, and so on. Sometimes you
only need a small amount of shade to cool things down
considerably.
Shade cloth can be found usually in green or black, however
other colors are available. There doesn’t seem to be a
difference in the ways the various colors work, one works
just as well as the other. Shade cloth on the sides of a
structure will cut down on wind damage to foliage plants. In
a pinch, you can use bird netting, mosquito nets or even
large pieces of cheesecloth to provide a bit of shade.
Since shade cloth is a permeable layer, it will let rain
through, and can be irrigated overhead with sprinklers if
need be. Shade cloth can also be used to keep out birds and
other animal pests. Shade cloth can also be a quick way to
provide some summertime shade for your pets.
Most shade cloth is made of different plastics but there are
some that use aluminum along with the plastics and these
are very useful in very hot areas. The shade clothes made of
a combination of materials will reflect a good deal of the
sun’s UV rays keeping it much cooler underneath. Shade
cloth with aluminum, such as Aluminet, is handy for high
traffic areas and covered work areas.
Shade cloth can be bought as either knitted material or
woven cloth. The knitted shade cloth is lighter and stronger
than the woven, costs a bit more usually, and it can be cut
without the ends unraveling.
Shade cloth should be laid over the top of hoop houses, cold
frames, greenhouses or other structures such as wood
frames. It can be nailed down, tied down to a stake in the
ground, similar to the way you would tie a tent, if it is the
type that has grommet in it, clipped on hoops using
greenhouse clips that are available through greenhouse
supply stores or simply secured to the ground using a heavy
material such as rocks, stones or sandbags similar to the
way you would secure plastic to the ground. Spun-bonded
row covers are usually see through and are used for
protecting plants from insects or they can be used to get a
head start on the gardening season.
Spun-bonded row covers are generally heavier, offer a
higher degree of protection but on the downside they tend
to exclude more light. These types of covers are better used
in the summer months when there is plenty of light or for
crops that can tolerate some shade.
Lattice
Lattice covers are not only a great way to provide some
shade but they offer the additional advantage of allowing
climbing plants to have a place to grow. Traditionally lattice
covers would be used for a crop such as grapes, however,
they will work for almost any crop that needs to vine or
needs some shade.
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