The hot sun is one thing we can count on in our Arizona summers, and shade cloth is the answer to help cool down ourselves, our pets, our plants and our equipment. But what is shade cloth, and what percentage of shade do you need?
In general, shade cloth is made from plastic fibers that have been treated with ultra-violet inhibitors. Industrial grade shade cloth, such as ours, is designed to sit out in the sun, as long as you hang it tight so it doesn't flap in the wind. Movement from the wind is the top reason shade cloth fails prematurely.
30% Shade Fabric is often used for growing cactus - even that desert dweller needs some help on those 115 degree days!
40, 50 and 60% Shade Cloth are popular for vegetable and flower gardens. The screen will take the edge off the heat, without cutting the sunlight the plants need to grow. Ask your neighborhood plant nursery what they recommend for the plants you purchase.
70 and 80% Shade Cloth is often used for pets and livestock, even protection for people.
95% Shade Screen is the heaviest shade fabric we offer, and perfect for covering patios or work areas. Coolaroo Commercial 95 is the best fabric we stock and comes in a wide range of designer colors.
So, what do you need to protect from the sun? Check out our options for shade cloth and let us help you! And watch soon for Part 2 of this article, for information on how to put your shade cloth up.