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50% Shade Fabric Alternatives?  RSS feed

 
Vincent Alexander
Posts: 50
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Hi friends,

The 50% shade cloth comes in handy on the farm for shading lettuce with hoops and such. I know in food forestry, the 50% shade is provided by the canopy of carefully spaced tree's, but what can I do in an intensive kitchen garden scenario to avoid using synthetic materials that need to be repurchased, etc... Going for an all natural, self-sustaining option, and just wanted to pick all of your brains on shade cloth, and how to provide al natural shade to to your kitchen gardens and vegetable farms. I like the idea of having something like a bamboo frame hoop covered with natural fabric (maybe burlap or a hemp/bamboo/cotton fabric? instead of the synthetic stuff?) But really just open to hearing all of your suggestions.

one last idea... a hedge of Neem tree planted all around the kitchen garden to provide shade/windbreak and deter insects with the natural neem oil? What do you think about that?
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Arbor, pergola, or similar covered in vines. Could be really fancy, could be a cattle panel arch.
 
Katy Whitby-last
Posts: 280
Location: North East Scotland
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forest garden goat trees
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What about the loosely woven jute sacks that you get for storing potatoes in?
 
Isaac Bickford
Posts: 101
Location: Okanogan County, WA
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bike chicken rabbit
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I'm planning on building an arbor for shading our rabbits in the summer. We have tons of blackberry canes sitting around which I will knit together tightly for the roof and loosely for the sides. You won't get quite as small of sun flecks, but if you get 50% coverage with thin branches, you should average about right sun exposure on the veg throughout the day. One danger with any covering on veggies (shade cloth included) is that it will collect rain into larger drops. So be careful about rain right after planting, until the lettuce is large enough to handle it.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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Old thinning bedsheets work alright especially if they're a light weave/color and it gives them some more life.
 
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