It’s hard to believe we made our shade cover video way back in 2015. I was even more surprised to realize I have never shared it on our website. Fast-forward three years and it’s mid-May. We have already started having some pretty hot days and decided to put the cover on over the tomatoes today. We wanted to do it before it was too late.
HOW TO MAKE A SUNSHADE COVER FOR A VEGETABLE GARDEN
Making your own garden shade cover is one of the best ways to extend your summer crop. Garden sun shade covers are important in areas with long hot summers or gardens that receive too much direct sunlight. In this video, Scott and Margaret walk you through how they made the shade cover for their vegetable garden in North Texas.
Shade cloth can really help lower hot summer temperatures and block some of the overpowering direct heat and light that we in Texas experience from Late May on into early September. A shade cover will extend your spring and summer garden and allow you to plant your fall garden earlier. Both of these help you produce more from your garden. An added benefit it the shade cloth also provides a shaded area for weeding, planting, and harvesting.
- Metal Fence Poles Length depends on the hight of the cover
- Wood for the frame (length and quantity depend on how big you want the cover)
- Fencing hardware
- Shade Cloth
- Thin conduit or metal pole PVC could also be used
- Cement is optional but suggested
When determining the height think about how it will work for the tallest person that will be going under the cover regularly. You also need to consider how much of your garden needs to be protected. We watched the sun pattern for several days to decided. The area to the left of the cover is shaded by the house and the area to right receives less full sun.
You will need to decide how large you want the cover to determine how much wood and how many poles you need. This video and tutorial are just to give you an idea of how to replicate it in your garden.
POLES AND SUPPORTS
We began by digging the holes for our post since we knew the cement would need time to dry. You will need to level the post. We kept the distance between our posts even to make it easier to attach the wooden frame, look better, and make working in the garden easier.
Once the cement dries, attach the wood fence brackets to the poles but do not overtighten. You’ll need to be able to make some adjustments. Your brackets will need to be level if possible. Our back beam is not even because of our yard sloping. Attach the wooden beam to the bracket and adjust as needed and then securely tighten. Next, you’ll attach beam supports to the wood in order to attach your cross supports. Once all of your beams are attached and adjusted you’ll need to tighten everything down.
Now that the support is made you can cut your poles down to size if needed and place a pole cap on top. If you don’t the poles will fill with water. Depending on the size you may need to run middle support. We used an electrical conduit. This will keep the shade cloth from drooping.
ATTACHING THE SHADE CLOTH
In the video, you’ll notice we attached the fabric with staples. That worked fine the first season but we quickly realized it wasn’t going to hold up year after year of taking it down and putting it back up. At the end of the first season, we inserted metal grommets along the short edges of the fabric. We then took a long open-ended hook and attached that to the wooden frame. Now, all we do is slip the grommet over the hook. It’s been great and held up well over the last 3 years.
I know this was a rough video and tutorial. When we move and set up another one I’ll be sure to record it in more detail and with our new camera and mic. If you have any questions let us know and we’d be happy to answer them! If you want to learn more about how we garden be sure to read more from our gardening category.