Tagged: greenhouse shade cloth

DIY Greenhouse Shades

Pretty Burlap Greenhouse Shades

Post author: Heidi at mysweetcottage.com

 

I still love the Sunglo greenhouse that my husband, Chris, assembled last fall.

Burlap greenhouse shades

Greenhouse in December, 2014, shortly after assembly of the exterior.

And, since I’m new to greenhouse gardening in general, I’m still learning new things about it.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Because of the excellent south-facing location we chose for the greenhouse and the early spring we’ve been having this year, the fan in the greenhouse has been working overtime.  The plants and seeds I started inside have been getting a little too much of some good things – namely heat and sun.

My darling greenhouse is just doing what it’s supposed to do, and it came with a shade cloth for the exterior that we realized we should install pronto for just these kinds of conditions.

A Lighter Shade of . . . Shade

Maybe I was just being naïve, but it seemed to me to be a little early in the year to install the shade cloth.  In the Pacific Northwest, the weather can turn on a dime, and we might still be faced with days of clouds, rain, and general gloominess.

So I started thinking about ways to get some light-duty shade.  Something I could install on the inside of the greenhouse that would allow filtered light and bring the temperature down just a few degrees.

At the fabric store, I ran across that good old standby, burlap.  And burlap is sometimes used in orchards and plantations to shade crops but still provide filtered light.  Perfect.

I chose this soft, pretty burlap.

burlap greenhouse shades

Shading on the Curve

So now we had a new challenge:  How to turn the burlap into shades that would curve with the wall of the greenhouse.

burlap greenhouse shades

Greenhouse before shades

I decided I would leave the ceiling of the greenhouse un-shaded since most of the sunlight comes in from the south-facing wall.  So I would shade the curved wall down to the upper shelf.  That way, plants that needed it could be placed on the lower shelf and still get direct sunlight.

But how to make a shade fit the curve.  At first I thought we (and by “we,” I mean Chris) could install an upper rod to suspend the shades, and then a second rod farther down on the curve.  The shades would then be tucked behind the second rod so they would follow the line of the curve.

But we both hated the thought of drilling a lot of big holes and….

To view this full post you can read it on Heidi’s blog here.

 

The Importance of Shade Cloths

Shade cloth
1000D Sunglo With Shade Cloth

There are many factors involved in greenhouse gardening. And we all know that to grow different plants and flowers the conditions need to be just right. So climate control and ventilation are very important. Greenhouses can get very hot in certain areas around the country. So for that extra protection we offer shade cloths.

shade cloth
1700D Sunglo With Shade Cloth

But why? Well, in humid areas misting and fogging may not be adequate enough in thosehot summer months. And excess moisture build up can become a problem.

There are many different ways to “shade” your greenhouse. Spray on and liquid options are available. As well as woven polyester or even aluminum varieties. Shade cloths can be found in varying densities or degrees of shade from approximately 5% to 95%.

shade cloth material
Sunglo’s Shade Cloth Material

Sunglo offers a 73% gradient polypropylene cloth with double sewn reinforced hems and brass grommets for easy anchoring. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer and it is used in a variety of products around the world.

 Polypropylene is normally colored using carbon black. It is tough stuff but still flexible and it has good resistance to fatigue. It is suseptable to UV damage from sunlight exposure but our shade cloths are coated with a UV absorbing additive and carbon black also has some “SPF” properties to it.

Shade cloth
Sunglo’s Shade Cloth Packaged

Shade cloths can be the difference between beautiful plants or burnt plants! Don’t leave your plants to risk, shade cloths are inexpensive and will last you through the years keeping your plants safe and happy!

 Please contact us to request our complete pricing and product catalog.

To attach Sunglo’s shade cloth to your greenhouse, use some bungee cord or rope to thread through the grommets and secure them to some loop posts that are anchored to the ground or base. Lean-to models: For convenience try to set up the loop posts so you can easily roll the shade cloth up or down.

Call or e-mail us for our shade cloth instruction diagram. Please specify free-standing or lean-to.

For more information on Sunglo’s shade cloths or other greenhouse accessories please contact us anytime. And visit us on Facebook for promotion updates and gardening info.

DIY greenhouse shades
DIY greenhouse shades

To see how to install these light weight shades click here.

Summer Climate Control

Greenhouse Ventilation Fans

Having an extremely well insulated greenhouse can save you a fortune in the winter, but in the summer all that trapped heat can make for undesirable growing conditions. I was out in our demo model doing some irrigation upgrades this morning. It was at first a normal cloudy Seattle day, but as soon as the sun came out from behind the clouds the temperature shot right up. Thankfully, the thermostat kicked the Schaefer brand fan and shutter on and cooled the greenhouse down before things got uncomfortable. Greenhouse ventilation fans.

greenhouse ventilation fans

This got me to thinking about how great it is to have an active greenhouse ventilation system as opposed to a passive roof vent. The 12 inch 800 cubic feet per minute (CFM) fans that come standard with our 1000 series greenhouses easily exchange every bit of air (663 cubic feet to be exact) very rapidly. This means that by the time I noticed the sweat beginning to bead on my brow the ventilation system was already at work keeping me and my precious tomatoes cool. The other great thing about the ventilation system is that the intake shutter allows fresh carbon and oxygen rich air to enter the greenhouse. Combined with a horizontal air flow (HAF) fan, this system insures that plants are not forced to put up with stagnant “dead zones” or hot spots. A dead zone is a thin layer of air surrounding the leaf that quickly becomes devoid of carbon dioxide if not constantly replaced. While a passive roof vent will allow hot air to escape it does little to allow fresh air into the greenhouse.
Summer has gotten off to a slow start this year in Seattle, but if the weather continues to stay warm we will be putting on our shade cloth soon.

Greenhouse ventilation fans - Shade cloth

Up until now we have been able to let our Solanaceous babies soak up all the sun they can get, but the great thing about the shade cloth is that it helps to minimize the cost of cooling our greenhouse. Once installed it helps to avoid spikes in temperature and keeps the fan running less. Another thing that some of our customers have done is install a mist cooling system. For orchid enthusiasts this option works really well to keep temperatures down while maintaining a high humidity. In extremely warm climates our customers have found that attaching a swamp cooler to their intake vent works very well. These work by drawing air through a material saturated with cool water. As the air passes through the material it evaporates the water. The kinetic energy required for this evaporation is taken from the air itself resulting in cool, moist air. Working with a customer to replace his discontinued swamp cooler, I was surprised to find that HomeDepot.com has many available at affordable prices.

The ability to create a favorable environment for our precious specimens all year round is the true benefit of owning a greenhouse and for most of our customers the ventilation and shade cloth are more than adequate in the summer. For our customers who fight the heat more than the cold of winter please contact us about adding some automatic vent openers and many other options available to keep your greenhouse cool and comfy. Sunglo offers Schaefer Ventilation products; the best greenhouse ventilation on the market today.

Learn more about greenhouse ventilation here.Greenhouse ventilation fans.