Shade Fabric for Plants

Written by daniel r. mueller
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Shade Fabric for Plants
Greenhouses often use shade fabric to regulate temperature. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Shade fabric, or shade cloth, is a lightweight knitted polythene cloth primarily used to shade plants from the sun, both outdoors and in greenhouses. This fabric can also protect plants from freeze and thaw cycles.

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Benefits

This fabric allows gardeners to cater to the specific needs of multiple types of plants, since these needs may range from full sun to very little sun. Greenhouses often use shade fabric because it provides shade, offers better ventilation than other materials and is mildew- and rot-resistant. It is water-permeable and allows rainwater and sprinkler water to pass through to the plants below.

Types

Standard shade cloth is best suited for standard gardening and farming uses and simply blocks a percentage of the light passing through it. Aluminet shade cloth cools in warm temperatures as well as shades because it controls air movement, thus affecting air temperature in addition to light; conversely, in cooler temperatures it retains heat.

Considerations

Small plants or other plants with reduced root systems are best safeguarded from freeze and thaw cycles by shade fabric, according to North Carolina Cooperative Extension. This fabric retains heat and helps prevent damage from frost heave.

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