Greenhouse Shading Systems

In the summer, when a greenhouse receives the greatest amount of sun, one might notice a slight change in the plants. First, the plant will begin to yellow, and then the foliage burns and dies.  The same plants may have thrived during other seasons, but the harsh summer sun proves too strong and dangerous for indoor growth. This gardening dilemma can be corrected with shading.

There are several options to prevent your plants from being damaged. You can empty the greenhouse, and move your plants outside into a shaded area underneath a tree or patio. But as the sun shifts, the plants may continue to burn. Another option is to paint the greenhouse glass white to reflect the sun’s rays. This method will work, but only temporarily. The effects will diminish as the paint chips and wears away from environmental heat and humidity.

Exterior Fixed Shades

A better choice is to install greenhouse shades. Adding shading to a greenhouse will cut down on the amount of heat and light that enters the greenhouse. Solar Innovations, Inc. has several shading options available. Various systems will filter approximately 40-60% of light from the greenhouse compared to sunroom shades which filter 60-80%. The 40-60% provides the light necessary for plants to grow and protects them from the sun’s harmful rays. All units are made of fabric that is designed to withstand exposure to high moisture, humidity, and sun. The shade can be mounted on the exterior or interior of a greenhouse.

Placing the shades on the exterior of the greenhouse will block the most significant amount of heat and light from entering the structure; however, the shades will be exposed to rain, wind, snow, hail, and tree debris, all of which can create maintenance issues. Placing the shades on the greenhouse’s interior is the more common application. This option will help control the amount of light and heat that reaches the plants and will not expose the shades to outdoor weather.

Interior and exterior shades can be fixed or operable. Fixed shades are permanently attached and do not move. Operable shades can be retracted either manually or by way of a motor. The operable systems use a Roman fold style. The shades can be retrofitted into an existing system, but if you are installing a new greenhouse, it is recommended they be installed as the greenhouse is built. Lean-to or double pitch greenhouses are the simplest and most cost effective configurations when it comes to shade installation.

Scranton Greenhouse Shades

Another shading option is to use horizontally retractable shades available through Solar Innovations, Inc. This shade system will span the entire length of the greenhouse’s eave. The shades can retract or remain stationary. Hot air remains trapped above the shades and is less likely to penetrate the greenhouse. Also, accessories such as misting systems and heaters are easier to install in conjunction with horizontal shades.

As a new greenhouse is constructed, heat can be controlled by using proper shading and incorporating LowE glass into the framework. There are various degrees of LowE glazing which decrease the amount of light and heat entering the structure. This glazing acts as a shading tool as well. When the proper LowE glazing is paired with ridge vents and windows, in some situations, traditional greenhouse shades are not needed. To discuss available options or to receive a quote, please contact a Solar Innovations, Inc. sale representative.

Greenhouse Shading System Design Tips:

  • Measure each bay size
  • Realize limitations within your greenhouse
  • Be sure to consider your plants
  • Consult your manufacturer
  • Explore all your options

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