The agriculture business is an important sector in the whole world and there have been developments of various techniques to enhance the growth of various crops. Farmers have adopted various ways to protect their crops from the harsh weather conditions. Use of a shade net, also referred to as shade cloth, is one of the means that farmers from different areas are implemented to offer their crops sufficient protection. In this case, the protection is offered from different causes of crop damage and destruction, such as weather, pests and even animals that may feed on the plants. It is more or less like a greenhouse implication only that instead of materials used for making greenhouses, a type of a net or cloth likening to a net is used to build it.
What is a Shade Net?
A shade net is an agro house that is meant to shelter crops. It is a framed structure that encompasses various materials that are meant to sustain growth of crops. These often include water pipes, metallic strand to hold the net and form the agro house structure, wood or beams of bamboo for extra support of the structure, etc. The net used is made of polythene thread to withstand tension and compression, making it durable. They are naturally well-ventilated for allowing enough air to get in and restricting UV light to ensure there is not much heat inside the shade-net that would harm the crops. The main aim of this agro shelter is to offer favorable environmental and weather conditions in a controlled manner.
Types of Shade Nets
- Dome-shaped shade nets
A dome-shaped shade net has a curved roofing, which gives it its name. You can purchase different shade-nets with various designs and dome-shaped roofing depending on the specifications you want. They are easy to install, have an attractive finishing and require little maintenance, which is why most people prefer them.
- Flat roof shade net house
There are a wide variety of flat roof shade net houses that you can install on your own with much ease. These kinds of agro net houses are effective in ensuring that there is minimal light exposed to the plants and they grow in a cool environment. They are ideal for vegetable growth and you can consider using them for cucumber netting.
- Reflective shade house
A reflective shade-net can either be dome-shaped or have a flat roof. What makes it unique is the reflective nature of the shade cloth used. They offer an optimum environment for plant growth, since they reflect away rays emanating from the sun. So, your agro net house will have a cool climate, controlled lighting and a leveled humidity.
- Standard shade house
A standard shade house is has medium light passing through the protective material used and average humidity as well as temperature. The moderate characteristics exhibited by a standard shade house is ideal for the growth of a variety of crops. It is a perfect alternative to greenhouses.
Does the Color of ShadeNet Matter for Different Crops?
Yes, it does. However, this is dependent on the crops you are gardening and the amount of lighting and warmth they require to grow appropriately. There are two types of shades, i.e. dark (green or black) shade-nets and white shade-nets. The darker the shade house, the lower the lighting and the brighter the color, the higher its lighting. So, for crops that do not need much light to grow, dark shade cloth houses will be ideal while for those that require a lot of light, you can buy a white shade cloth house. You can use them for various plants, including cucumber netting.
Various Applications of a Shade-Net
Agro shade houses can be used for various uses and it does not necessarily mean harboring crops and other plants. Other important applications of agro shade cloth houses include;
- Cultivating cash crops that are grown for exportation and for a wide variety of uses. These can be medicinal plants, spices or flowers (horticulture).
- As a fruit and vegetable nursery, making it ideal for cucumber netting. You can also plant apples, passion fruits, tomatoes, etc.
- Can be used a storage facility where plants are stored after harvesting to dry.
- They are also ideal for production of graft saplings.
- Agro shade houses can also be used to harden plants’ tissue culture.
Characteristics of Cloth Shade Houses
- They are easy to mount and the process does not require much expertise to be able to install it all the way up. The cloth shade houses are designed in a way farmers can set them up on their own if there is no help around. There is also a guide provided on how to install them and you can follow up as they are easy to comprehend.
- The materials used are UV resistant, making it favorable for cultivation of various plants that do not require much light. As much as sunlight is needed for plant growth, too much of it is dangerous, and can cause wilting and drying of plants. Therefore, a shade net is ideal in ensuring that lighting is moderated and regulated to suit the needs of the plants.
The plastic material used in manufacturing shade cloth houses is strong, and resistant to tension and compression; making it hard for them to wear out. So, be assured of a long-service from the products you will buy.