What are shade nets?

A shade net is a fabric knitted or woven from HDPE material that is primarily designed to protect crops and animals against harsh radiation from the sun either by absorbing or reflecting light; Shade nets however have many other applications.

Shade nets are manufactured with different light screening factors and are defined according to the amount or percentage of shade they provide to the crops growing under their cover; this normally ranges from 20% to 90%. Shade nets are also available in multiple colours which helps in shaping the wavelength, intensity and distribution of solar radiation.

What is the difference between shade net houses and greenhouses?

Shade houses and greenhouses are both used to create micro-environments that try to recreate the natural environments in which the cultivated crops usually grow or to enhance the micro-environment for maximum yields. They both protect crops from natural disturbances like insect pests, birds, hailstorm and strong winds.

The major difference between the two is in the cladding or covering materials which are designed for different purposes and create different micro-climates.

Shade houses create a cool micro climate and are therefore suitable for shade loving crops whereas greenhouses tend to heat up since the UV polythene cover is designed to allow solar radiation to pass through it then traps the resultant thermal energy created inside the greenhouse; this phenomenon is known as ‘the greenhouse effect’.

Greenhouses are therefore more suitable for heat loving crops.

Shade houses and greenhouses therefore create two contrasting micro-environments and it is important to understand what you need so as to choose the right structure.

When to use shade nets?

Shading screens cut light radiation. Crops that thrive in weak solar radiation environments when grown in areas with (or during seasons of) strong solar radiation are protected from radiation damage using shade nets. Production of such vegetables can generally be enhanced using nets of percentages ranging between 30% to 50%. Vegetables such as lettuce, kales, cabbages, indeterminate tomato varieties, certain herbs and flowers etc can do well under shade net. In certain climatic conditions, heat tolerant crops such as tomatoes and capsicum can also be grown under shade or can benefit from temporary shade cover during periods of high solar radiation.

Dark coloured nets such as black and green are much better at absorbing sunlight, keeping the micro climate cool. They are therefore more suitable for crops that thrive under shade such as green leafy vegetables.

The effects of shading is that these crops will have bigger leaves, grow taller and have more nodes and will be able to grow all year round even in environments with scorching sunlight.

Lighter coloured nets which reflect rather than absorb light are more suitable for flowering plants.

If you are looking for high quality shade cloth/material please contact SBF INTERIORS AND OUTDOOR SOLUTIONS on +254798882837 or email info@sbf.co.ke  & sales@sbf.co.ke