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how can i figure out what size shade cloth i need to buy for my greenhouse  RSS feed

 
chippy dupre
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hi hi ...perhaps yall can help me...I am putting up a new greenhouse that measures 10' x 10' by 8'tall...I am needing to put a shade cloth on it due to the hot, summer conditions here in South Louisiana.  How do I figure out what size shade cloth to buy for that dimension of greenhouse?   Any help you can give me with this question, will be greatly appreciated...Have a blessed day.   chippydee
 
Brie Robb
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Location: Central Oklahoma area
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If the structure is 10 x 10 why would the shade cloth not be the same?
 
Judith Browning
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greenhouse that measures 10' x 10' by 8'tall


Wouldn't the roof shape make some difference for shade cloth size? whether it's a gable or shed type roof?
 
r ranson
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Location: Left Coast Canada
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If I knew the pitch of the roof and the shape, and which sides you need to cover, I might be able to manage a to drag some math out of my brain and get a rough estimate for you.

Alternatively, if you have a roll of reme (agricultural fleece) you can drape that over the greenhouse as it's light-weight and shouldn't put pressure on the glass.  Or some sheets bought second hand and sewn together.  There are lots of different cloth that can provide shade, but they don't necessarily come in set sizes.  Personally, I like to increase airflow first before adding shade cloth to the greenhouse by either setting up a solar power fan or removing some of the glass (but being careful as this reduces the strength of the greenhouse).


Alternatively to your alternative, here's an idea for next year.  Last summer, I put the largest squash from my fastest growing vine and left the squash whole next to the south-east correner of the greenhouse. The squash rotted over winter and very early in the spring the seeds started to germinate (this also helps me to know when it's time to put my squash seeds in the ground).  Now the squash is growing on average a meter a day, and I can move the vines to grow to shade the greenhouse.  If I need less shade, I cut the leaves/vines back because I'm growing this squash for shade and any fruit that comes off it is a bonus.  This year, it's been fairly cool, so I'm keeping the squash low on the greenhouse.  But if it was last year, I would encourage it to climb up higher.

I've been thinking of doing something like this with runner beans and a trellis, but squash seem to work much better. 
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squash shade for greenhouse
 
chippy dupre
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R. Ranson

I am getting a greenhouse much like you have in the picture...it is not the original one I was talking about in my post...it is 8 x 8 with that same pitch roof by Paltram...I would need a shade cloth for the roof part of the greenhouse...would I want one that goes in the inside or the outside of this greenhouse...I am very new to this type of greenhouse and it will be used mostly to house my tropical plants inside for the winter months, which have a few freezes per year...and I live in south Louisiana, USA...where the summers are scorching...today the heat index will be 117 degrees...any help on figuring out what I need will be greatly appreciated...and I may do the squash planting near it in the summer to add shade on the sides...great idea.  chippy
 
r ranson
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Location: Left Coast Canada
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I'm a lazy gardener.  If nature will do the work for me, I say let it.  I inherited a few small greenhouses from my grandfather, so I use them mostly for peppers and cotton in the summer, and getting a jump on spring.  My method may not work for other people as, like I said, I make let nature do most of my work for me.

I'm also highly miserly when it comes to the garden.  I use what I have to hand.  Some years it's raggedy old cotton sheets draped over the West side of the greenhouse (the hottest sun is from the west-south-west and the west (late afternoon-evening) here - where your hottest part of the day may differ).  Usually, it's the leftover cover from the carrots.  That's about 5 foot wide - because that's how wide it came, but you can get different widths - and as long as I needed it.  Again, I just drape this over the greenhouse trying to cover the area that gets the hottest sun.  Basically I don't measure because I'm not buying or cutting something new.  Also, I don't cover the whole greenhouse, just the hottest sides. 

My observations with my greenhouse is that it's not so much the temperature that does it for me but the lack of airflow.  Those 8x10s I'm using would be far more useful if they had a door each end so that I could open and close the doors to suit the weather.  As it is, the air stagnates and can contribute to mildew and other problems.  With a fan, the air moves about and the water in the soil and in the plants evaporates and allows the plants to cool. 

Another thing I'm experimenting with is using a light coloured mulch in the greenhouse so that the soil doesn't heat up as much in the summer.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Our solar greenhouses are attached to our houses and heat them all winter. They are simply UV resistant plastic film, and we roll them up and tuck them out of the way for the whole summer. Otherwise they'd badly oveheat.

On one room we have a low-sloped polycarbonate roof which would overheat in summer, so we paint it with clay slurry when it starts to get too hot in June. Since there is very little rain here, we paint it on the outside (top) and if it gets washed off we just reapply it. And/or we rinse it off in autumn when the room isn't going to overheat anymore. But this blocks so much sunlight that it wouldn't be good for plants.

I think it's best for plants and soil to be open to the air and sun and environment for as much of the year as they can stand, and only close the greenhouse when necessary to prevent them from being exposed to weather too cold for them.
 
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Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
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