One of the toughest things to do in a challenging climate is to grow a garden. Some of the more common obstacles to gardening in these types of climates are strong winds, scorching sunshine, and extreme temperatures. And while some of these may seem like insurmountable obstacles, don’t give up hope. Shade cloth may be just the answer you’ve been searching for.
Despite its simplicity, shade cloth can help you to create a milder micro-climate in your very own backyard, enabling you to grow the fruits and vegetables that have previously suffered or refused to grow at all.
A simply way to figure out if this will work for you is to evaluate your own local nurseries and garden centers. If they are able to grow vegetables and other plants in your climate, so can you. If you’ll notice, they often employ a number of garden netting techniques that help them manage the wind and temperature. Applying these same principles to your own personal garden can allow you to garner similar results.
Shade cloth can be used in greenhouses, over pergolas, patios, and balconies, and in many other situations – even for covers for pools or animal enclosures. Shade cloth stabilizes UV exposure and regulates the temperature of its protected area. It also guards against the damaging effects of wind. Shade cloth also helps your garden and plants retain moisture that would otherwise be stripped away by heat and wind. Shade cloths can be bought in standard sizes or in bulk rolls from garden supply stores or online retailers or can be custom-made to fit your specific needs.
While the standard for shade cloth fabric is black, it is also available in many colors. Greenhouse shade cloth is typically black, however, as it is best at absorbing and trapping heat. Garden shade cloth is sold in several different densities, usually ranging from 30% – 90% blocked light and heat. Lower densities (i.e. 30%) are great for flowers like orchids and bromeliads, whereas higher densities (60%) are best for pergola, balcony, and pool covers. High density shade cloth (80% – 90%) is best for greenhouses and animal protection.
Shade cloth is either woven or knitted. Knitted shade cloth is generally stronger and more resistant to fraying, but is also more expensive. Aluminet shade cloth is another option in shade cloth. It costs more than black shade cloth, but reflects heat and light even better, and is the best choice in some greenhouse situations.
Shade cloth is an excellent way to manage your own micro-climate and can allow you to plant fruits and vegetables that you otherwise would be unable to grow. Take control of your garden and find the harvest you have been looking for.