The Ultimate Guide to Using Shade Cloth in Your Garden

Patio Accessories


Upholding a thriving garden during the harsh Australian weather conditions can be a challenge. Thankfully we have found a solution. Many gardeners have implemented shade cloth, a durable and woven material, in their gardens. Shade cloth can be used to protect your plants against the harsh sun rays and Australian elemental exposure.

Shade cloth is primarily used for dust control and outdoor advertisements in the construction industry, however, it has increased in popularity amongst gardeners.

This is because shade cloth is a durable material that can provide protection for years. It is also an inexpensive and effective method to ensure a fruitful harvest. In addition to the protection benefits, shade cloth comes in a range of thicknesses, styles and colours to suit the requirements of your patio plants and the theme of your garden.


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Nursery with Shade Cloth Covering

How Can Shade Cloth Be Used in My Garden?

Plants require the sun to grow and blossom, but different plants have different light and heat requirements. Shade cloth will provide relief from the summer heat and allow you to tailor the amount of light penetration each of your plants is receiving.

Shade Cloth Used in Garden

Where Can Shade Cloth Be Used in My Garden?

  • You can hang shade cloth over freestanding covers, ferneries and pergolas.
  • Shade cloth can be used to create shade houses.
  • Shade cloth can be used inside your transparent greenhouse (if your plants require warmth but are sensitive to direct sunlight).
  • Shade cloth can be used for raised garden beds that have solid arching.
  • You can drape, cover and wrap shade cloth to any requirement that you have.

Shade cloth can be found in a wide range of UV stabilised densities; this will allow a tailor-made shade solution based on each individual plants requirements. Most retailers offer densities of 30 percent, 50 percent, 70 percent and 90 percent. The 70 percent cloth is great for covering pergolas and gazebos; 30 percent is also popular to encourage plant growth.

How to Choose the Best Shade Cloth for My Garden?

You should choose shade cloth depending on the environment that you are planning/grow your plants in. We suggest you seek advice from your nursery in order to determine the requirements of your plants.

What Is Density Percentage?

Shade cloth is either knitted or woven. We recommend using knitted shade cloth for gardens as the difference will permit different levels of sun penetration and heat. In addition to the level of UV protection your plants require, you should consider what percentage of sun blockage is ideal for the plants that you want to grow in your garden.

  • 30 percent to 60 percent: Ideal for vegetables, fruit trees and nurseries. Please note that shade cloth will also offer your vegetables and fruit trees protection from birds that enjoy fruits and vegetables as much as we do.
  • 70 percent: Generally implemented in greenhouses.
  • 90 percent: Idea as a ground cover to discourage weed growth.

Shade cloth will dissipate a large level of the head load that your plants would be receiving if they are not adequately covered. Shade cloth in the garden should be considered an investment due to the reduction of energy and water costs that are required during summer to protect your garden.

This article was written by Madina Azamy from TTFS – Australia’s number 1 provider of high quality printed shade cloth and custom banners at affordable prices.


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What Colour Shade Cloth Is Best?

The colour of your shade cloth depends on the photoreceptor requirements of your garden plants. Green shade cloths for tomatoes, lettuce, squash and turnips while white shade cloths are suitable for apple, fig and guava trees.

What Percentage Shade Cloth Should I Use?

Depending on the purpose of your shade cloth use, you can choose the lower density shade cloths to promote plant growth and the higher density shade cloths for areas that require more shade. High-density shade cloths are great for covering pergolas and greenhouses.

Does Shade Cloth Keep Rain Out?

No, shade cloths generally don’t keep the rain out, they are made from non 100% or blends of polyester.

Does Shade Cloth Reduce Heat?

Yes, choosing a low density knitted shade cloth, in a light colour keeps heat away from your garden plants.

What Is the Best Shade Cloth for Vegetable Garden?

Green knitted shade cloths with a 30% density is ideal for a vegetable garden. Letting in an ample amount of light and heat to promote vegetable growth.

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