Boost Yield and Reduce Disease with Shade Cloth in Greenhouses

Boost Yield and Reduce Disease with Shade Cloth in Greenhouses
Using Shadecloth on High Tunnels for Tomato and Colored Bell Pepper Production | Purdue University Vegetable Crops Hotline

Greenhouses are a great way to extend the growing season, but when the sun is too intense, it can be difficult to keep plants alive. Shade cloths are one solution that can help protect plants from extreme temperatures and light levels. Aluminet shade cloth is a popular choice for greenhouses because of its ability to reflect heat and reduce light intensity.

The University of Maryland conducted a five-year study on shade cloth use in greenhouses. They found that anything over 30% shade reduced marketable size, while increasing yields by 19-50%. Additionally, they noted that disease was also reduced under shade.

When deciding on the right shade percentage for your greenhouse, consider the local climate. For example, if you live in an area with intense summer heat, you may want to opt for a higher percentage of shade cloth than recommended in the study. One user shared their experience with 40% shade cloth in the hot Mojave Desert: despite having sides open and running an air conditioner, their seedlings still burned up within two days.

To get the most out of your shade cloth, make sure to keep it damp. This will act as a natural “swamp cooler” and help regulate temperature even further. You can do this by setting up an intermittent sprayer or attaching a drip hose to the tops of the sides and running it on a timer.

When shopping for aluminet shade cloth, there are many sources available online. One user recommends due to their low prices and lack of extra costs for edging and grommets.

Shade cloth is an effective tool for protecting plants from extreme temperatures and light levels in greenhouses. It can increase yield and reduce disease while helping regulate temperature through dampening. With careful consideration of your local climate and creative ways to cool down your greenhouse, shade cloth might just be the answer you’re looking for!

What kind of shade cloth should I use for my greenhouse?

Aluminet shade cloth is recommended, with a shade percentage of 50-60%.

How can I reduce the temperature in my greenhouse?

Keeping the shade cloth damp acts like a natural swamp cooler. Set up an intermittent sprayer for the cloth or attach a drip hose to the tops of the sides and run it on a timer. Additionally, providing ventilation from the sides or ends of the greenhouse can help reduce temperatures.

What are the benefits of using shade cloth?

According to a 5 year study by the University of Maryland, using shade cloth increases marketable yields by 19-50%, and reduces disease.

Where can I buy shade cloth? offers aluminet shade cloth at competitive prices. It may be cheaper to purchase two small pieces instead of one large one, as additional costs for edging and grommets can add up quickly.

How do I install shade cloth?

Installing shade cloth is relatively easy. First, measure the area you want to cover and purchase enough material to fit the space. Next, attach grommets or edging to the edges of the cloth. Finally, hang the cloth from the greenhouse frame with zip ties or clips.

What other materials can I use for my greenhouse?

Polyethylene film is a great option for greenhouses. It's lightweight, durable, and easy to install. Additionally, it's available in different thicknesses and colors to suit your needs. Another option is polycarbonate panels, which are more expensive but offer superior insulation and protection from UV rays.