Consumers want vegetables, herbs, and blooms at every time of the year, not just in season. Luckily, growers can grow the entire year, thanks to, among other factors, shade cloths. Shade cloths function like sunscreen, preventing the plants from being overexposed to the sun’s rays, especially during the summer months.
The use of shade cloths originated from Australia, where the summer season can be harsh. The cloths are draped over the greenhouse to cool down the surface and the plants. Depending on specific plant types, they come in different densities or thicknesses to control the amount of light to penetrate; you use thicker shade cloths for sensitive plants like spinach and lettuce, thinner ones can provide enough shade for tomatoes and peppers.
Shade cloths are made of loosely woven aluminum or polyester in varying densities. The various thicknesses provide degrees of shade between 5% and 95%. In addition, they allow water to penetrate so that irrigation systems, sprinklers, and rainwater can continue to hydrate your plants.
You can find two types of shade cloths in the market: woven and knitted. Aside from the manufacturing process, one of the most important properties to consider when choosing shade cloths is the color. The shade cloth color can make a big difference depending on the type of plant that needs protection. In addition, the color affects the growth of plants.
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