How to Use Shade Cloths for Plants
Shade cloth netting has been studied by horticulturists since 1992. Those early studies focused mainly on the effects on plants that were grown under shade cloths in both the field and in greenhouses.
Woven shade cloth is available in black, white, red, green, violet, decorative brown and Aluminet (a specialty metalized knit fabrication). Shade cloths are available in different densities of the weave— from 22% to as much as 90% —dependent on the color of the cloth.
The Benefits of Black Shade Cloths
This is the most commonly seen color of shade cloth around commercial growing centers. It can be used both inside a greenhouse to cover specific plantings or over an entire greenhouse.
Testing shows that higher-density (70% or higher) black shade cloths reduce the greatest amount of radiation that hits the surface beneath it. This may or may not be the best option for your particular plants. And it is not recommended for use in shading pets or human areas because the amount and spectrum light color under this netting is suspected of increasing confusion and inability of depth perception over prolonged periods of use.
Black shade cloth used over blueberry plants in a commercial setting showed higher vegetative growth, had no effect on Kiwi fruit or Philodendron plants when tested in a nursery.
But, when using black, blue and green shade cloth for plants where increased leaf growth is desirable, there is a greater chance of powdery mildew forming, under these particular colors. One additional tidbit is that whiteflies like to shelter under black netting more than under any other color.
Colored Shade Cloths that Increase Grip and Strength
Red shade cloth affects the muscular strength of those working beneath it due to the way in which the light is dispersed. While the reduction of active radiation is slightly less than that using the black cloth, it is significantly better at preventing muscle strain in workers; it has also been shown to markedly increase mental perceptions.
Red netting produced higher leaf mass in philodendron in the Stamps testing done in 1994 as well as other plants or herbs grown for their leaf production, according to the testing done in Brazil in 2007. In that same experiment, cane plants produced more leaves and grew stronger and taller.
However, Thai Basil and Genovese Basil did better using the violet and/or blue netting than it did with any other color. However, Cilantro plants became less marketable when grown under both blue and red cloths. Violet netting (which consists of the blue-range of hues as well as the red) decreases the UV light which can inhibit growth in some plants while intensifying growth in others. Nut trees love the violet shade cloth increasing production, quality and lowering cost of pruning.
White shade cloth is useful for patio, deck and pet areas as well as for greenhouse and field applications. For agricultural purposes, white netting produces better quality and quantities of fruit grown on trees— including olives than any other color. Use the white shade cloth to cover areas where grip strength is an important factor (such as tennis courts).
ALUMINET® Shade Cloths
ALUMINET is a trade-marked, metalized shade cloth that is newest to the market. This is the ideal product for vegetable and floral production in commercial environments. In southern climates where summer heat tends to damage plants and colored shade cloth tends to increase humidity and temperatures, ALUMINET shade cloths reflect the heat as well as UV light keeping the temperature at moderate levels beneath it. In northern climates, testing showed that it retained the heat, preventing plants from freezing.
The Benefits of Shade Cloths for People and Pets
There was a time when we only concerned ourselves with using sunscreens when going to the beach or to an all-day outdoor event. It’s noteworthy that the atmosphere of the earth has changed and protection against UV light is essential if you are outside more than 10-minutes during the day.
UV rays are known to cause skin cancer, cataracts, skin-aging and immune system diseases; it’s perhaps worthwhile to note that there has been a dramatic increase in these diseases among people and pets over the last ten years.
Shade cloths that diffuse and/or reduce UV light is one way to protect children, pets and elderly. ALUMINET is an optimal choice for screening and shading but if you prefer a color shade cloth, white and decorative brown blends into most home environments.
If you need a custom order, fill out this form and we will respond as soon as possible.Read more
The Many Uses and Benefits of Stainless Steel Netting
When you think of stainless steel netting, chances are you think about their industrial use such as netting for fall protection or its use as a barricade for driver safety in the mountains. But there are other uses that architects and garden designers are finding for this material in commercial and residential use.
The Gabion Wall at the right (courtesy of Susan Cohen Gardens) shows one of the latest applications of stainless steel netting in the residential arena.Read more
New Custom Cargo Net Features
We are happy to announce our new Build a Custom Cargo Net page! At US Netting we always strive to make it easier for our customers to get the netting solution they need. Moving towards this goal we have developed a new web app for building custom cargo nets. We'd also like to highlight some of the other changes that have been made to the cargo netting section.Read more
Wild birds, particularly songbirds, can be a delight to listen to and watch. But some “feathered friends” are not our friends at all, and certain species need to be prevented from damaging our homes and property. Find out more about our bird control solutions to keep the pigeons (and other pest birds) from coming home to roost.Read more
Construction sites are among the most dangerous of all workplaces. Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveals that one out of every five worker deaths in 2013 occurred in the construction industry. And it’s not just personnel who are at risk; an April 2015 article in the Wall Street Journal reported that “at least once a month on average, a passerby is injured near a New York City construction site by anything from falling bricks, hammers and glass to windblown fences and collapsing sidewalk sheds.” One effective means of preventing such fatalities and injuries is the use of safety netting systems for both personnel and debris.Read more