The use of a Shadecloth over a crop is beneficial for many reasons:
- Reduces heat stress
- Promotes the cooling of a growing area
- Reduces the intensity of sunlight, which can be harmful for seedlings and crops that are normally suited to shady conditions or cooler climates
- Allows plants to be grown in regions they are not normally found in
Hydroponic lettuces are good crop to illustrate the use of shading.
Lettuces are a cooler season crop. They grow perfectly well in cooler climates, but it is more challenging to grow a good head of lettuce in a warmer climate.
The use of a 30% white shadecloth allows lettuces to be grown more successfully in hot, tropical conditions.
This 30% grade of cloth is often used full time throughout a tropical summer when the sunlight is most intense, and periodically over winter depending on how clear & sunny the day is.
The white shadecloth reflects heat causing infra red rays away from the growing area and promotes cooling.
Without the use of shadecloth the UV light would be too intense, causing heat stress and contributing to plant problems such as tip burn.
The lettuce grower must also be careful not to use a grade of shadecloth that has a shade factor that is too high e.g 50 or 70%, or use shading too much during periods of low light levels. If the light intensity is reduced too much it will contribute to stretching, poor colouration of leaves and slow growth.
Light intensity is the driving force of the plant so the perfect level of light must be supplied to suit the crop being grown.
Ideally a shadecloth system should be retractable so it can be used on or off depending on the type of day.
Pure Hydroponics supplies a wide range of premium grade, knitted shadecloth suited for horticultural applications.
All shadecloth carries a 10 year pro rata UV light warranty.
Custom Shadecloth Panels
Pure Hydroponics also offers a custom shadecloth fabrication service.
Shadecloth panels can be made to any length and width by sewing various panels together. The custom panels are supplied with hemmed edges and draw strings inside. This allows high tensile wire to be pulled through the hemmed edges using the draw string. When installing the panels a length of wire rope (aircraft cable) is then placed between two panels and the high tensile wire in the hemmed edge of each panel is attached to the wire rope by the use of shackles (see photo below)
Pure Hydroponics can quote custom shadelcoth panels and recommend the required support pole spacing to suit any layout.
Please contact us for further information