5 Best Shade Cloths For Greenhouses – A Buyer’s Guide

Greenhouses are one of the most useful garden tools for any gardener, because they allow you to extend the growing season and grow vegetables that would normally not do well in the UK climate.

But two things are very important when it comes to greenhouses, ventilation and shading. Because heat and intense sunlight can damage plants. So a shade cloth for greenhouses are a vital accessory. 

There is a lot of choice on offer though, so our experts have picked the 5 best shade cloths for greenhouses available at the moment, to make it easier for you.

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e.share 40% Black Shade Cloth Taped Edge with Grommets 10 ft X 12ft
winemana 40% Black Shade Cloth, 10 x 14 FT Durable Mesh Tarp with Grommets, Resistant Garden Sun Shade Netting, Shading Antifreezing for Pergola, Greenhouse, Plants Growing, Chicken Coop
Nutley's 1m Wide 50% Shade Netting with Eyelets Horticultural Windbreak Greenhouse Protection (10m x 1m)
Elixir Gardens 40% Shade Netting | 3m x 5m | UV Protection, Windbreak/Fence & Scaffold Derbis Cover & Greenhouse Plant & Flower Shade Mesh Fabric
AISENPARTS 30% Sunblock Shade Cloth UV Resistant Net Black Outdoor Sun Mesh Shade with Grommets Fit for Patio Porch Swimming Pool Protection Plants Flowers 10x20FT
Performance
Excellent
Outstanding
Very Good
Very Good
Good
Value For Money
Very Good
Very Good
Excellent
Outstanding
Very Good
Reviews
3,323 Reviews
2,899 Reviews
320 Reviews
234 Reviews
1 Reviews
Rating
Our Pick
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e.share 40% Black Shade Cloth Taped Edge with Grommets 10 ft X 12ft
Performance
Excellent
Value For Money
Very Good
Reviews
3,323 Reviews
Rating
View On Amazon
Best Alternative
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winemana 40% Black Shade Cloth, 10 x 14 FT Durable Mesh Tarp with Grommets, Resistant Garden Sun Shade Netting, Shading Antifreezing for Pergola, Greenhouse, Plants Growing, Chicken Coop
Performance
Outstanding
Value For Money
Very Good
Reviews
2,899 Reviews
Rating
View On Amazon
Image
Nutley's 1m Wide 50% Shade Netting with Eyelets Horticultural Windbreak Greenhouse Protection (10m x 1m)
Performance
Very Good
Value For Money
Excellent
Reviews
320 Reviews
Rating
View On Amazon
Image
Elixir Gardens 40% Shade Netting | 3m x 5m | UV Protection, Windbreak/Fence & Scaffold Derbis Cover & Greenhouse Plant & Flower Shade Mesh Fabric
Performance
Very Good
Value For Money
Outstanding
Reviews
234 Reviews
Rating
View On Amazon
Image
AISENPARTS 30% Sunblock Shade Cloth UV Resistant Net Black Outdoor Sun Mesh Shade with Grommets Fit for Patio Porch Swimming Pool Protection Plants Flowers 10x20FT
Performance
Good
Value For Money
Very Good
Reviews
1 Reviews
Rating
View On Amazon

The main factor for shade cloths is the density, which is given in percentage. For vegetables, the density should be between 30% and 50%, so in our review of the 5 best shade cloths for greenhouses, we are focussing on this range.

#1: E.share 40% 10′ x 12′ Black Shade Cloth

E.share 40% Shade Cloth

Features:

  • 40% density
  • size: 3m x 3.6m (10ft x 12ft)
  • colour: black
  • brass grommets and reinforced tape

To Consider:

  • number one on our list of best shade cloths for greenhouses
  • made from UV stabilised polyethylene, which means it’s lightweight and durable
  • great customer reviews
  • versatile
  • available in different sizes

This 40% density shade cloth will provide the vegetables in your greenhouse with the shade needed. Its durable design will ensure that you can use it for more than one season. And because it is available in different sizes, you will be sure to find a size that fits your greenhouse. It’s also versatile and can be used for other tasks too, this means you get more for your money. No wonder it made it to the top of our list of the best shade cloths for greenhouses.

e.share 40% Black Shade Cloth Taped Edge with Grommets 10 ft X 12ft
3,323 Reviews
e.share 40% Black Shade Cloth Taped Edge with Grommets 10 ft X 12ft
  • SIZE:10ft X 12ft,Every 2ft One Gromme-Customized Sizes Available
  • polyethylene, Lightweight and durability
  • Mesh and breathable, summer shading cover

#2: Winemana 40% Black Shade Cloth

Winemana 40% Shade Cloth

Features:

  • 40% shade density
  • size: 3m x 4.2m (10ft x 14ft)
  • lock stitch design to prevent unravelling
  • colour: black

To Consider:

  • runner-up on our list of best shade cloths for greenhouses
  • great customer reviews
  • different uses
  • durable and lightweight – taped edge reinforced by 6 stitch rows
  • available in different sizes

The winemana 40% density greenhouse shade cloth will regulate your greenhouse temperature while at the same time letting in enough light for your plants to thrive. Its design makes it durable, and you can choose from different sizes to find the right one for you. That’s why this is this our best alternative on our list of best shade cloths for greenhouses.

winemana 40% Black Shade Cloth, 10 x 14 FT Durable Mesh Tarp with Grommets, Resistant Garden Sun Shade Netting, Shading Antifreezing for Pergola, Greenhouse, Plants Growing, Chicken Coop
2,899 Reviews
winemana 40% Black Shade Cloth, 10 x 14 FT Durable Mesh Tarp with Grommets, Resistant Garden Sun Shade Netting, Shading Antifreezing for Pergola, Greenhouse, Plants Growing, Chicken Coop
  • High Shade Rate - Our Shade Cloth can resist rays and most sunlight while air can still flow through so as to create a comfortable cool and shaded place for people or plants.It blocks 40% of the sunshine and bring 40% the shadow, so 60% of the sunshine can through it.
  • Best Material - Shade Cloth Made from high density polyethylene which is lightweight but durable. The material provides maximum airflow and stretch-ability.Function: use for greenhouses,plant ,flowers, fruits cover, block the sun, with heat, moisture
  • Best Technology - Lock-stitch knitting technology can prevent unraveling and accumulating. Designed with taped edge and reinforced corner, our Sun Shade Cloth ensures durability and extra strength.

#3: Nutley’s 50% Greenhouse Shade Netting

Nutley's 45% Greenhouse Shade Netting

Features:

  • shade density: 50%
  • size: 10m x 1m (32ft x 3.2ft)
  • colour: blue-green
  • material: woven netting with eyelets

To Consider:

  • third place on our list of best shade cloths for greenhouses
  • great customer reviews
  • versatile
  • lightweight (0.4kg) 
  • affordable price

This 50% density shade netting for greenhouse has handy eyelets that will make it easy to hang it over your greenhouse. Its affordable price makes it a great buy, especially for new gardeners.

Sale
Nutley's 1m Wide 50% Shade Netting with Eyelets Horticultural Windbreak Greenhouse Protection (10m x 1m)
320 Reviews
Nutley's 1m Wide 50% Shade Netting with Eyelets Horticultural Windbreak Greenhouse Protection (10m x 1m)
  • MULTI USE: Knitted windbreak shade netting is ideal for many uses in and around the garden, including shading for polytunnels, greenhouses and conservatories. The netting can also be used for panelling timber frame doors.
  • HOW TO ASSEMBLE: The netting comes with eyelets for easy assembly. Simply use cable ties or garden wire to hang or attach the netting for the purpose it is needed for.
  • PROTECTION: The netting can be used to offer protection to your crops from harsh weathers like drifting snow, wind, and hard rain.

#4: Elixir Gardens 40% Shade Netting

Elixir Gardens 40% Shade Netting

Features:

  • 40% shade density
  • colour: green
  • size: 3m x 5m (10ft x 16ft)
  • material: knitted polyethylene

To Consider:

  • good customer reviews
  • affordable price
  • UV treated – tear and fray resistant
  • different uses

The Elixir Gardens 40% Shade Cloth is durable, because it has been made with UV treated knitted polyethylene. This means it will last for several seasons. With the very affordable price, it makes this shade cloth ideal for anyone who is new to greenhouse gardening.

Sale
Elixir Gardens 40% Shade Netting | 3m x 5m | UV Protection, Windbreak/Fence & Scaffold Derbis Cover & Greenhouse Plant & Flower Shade Mesh Fabric
234 Reviews
Elixir Gardens 40% Shade Netting | 3m x 5m | UV Protection, Windbreak/Fence & Scaffold Derbis Cover & Greenhouse Plant & Flower Shade Mesh Fabric
  • To select your desired LENGTH in meters, choose from the Size Name options. To select your desired WIDTH in meters, chose from the Colour Name options.
  • Made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which is tear & fray resistant. This netting should last many seasons before showing any signs of degradation.
  • Ideal for use in greenhouses, polytunnels, conservatories. Use externally on fences, gates and walls as a privacy screen to create a secluded outdoor area. Our Shade Nets feature stong woven eyelets for quick and easy installation.

#5: AISENPARTS 30% Shade Cloth

AISENPARTS 30% Shade Cloth

Features:

  • 30% shade density
  • size: 3m x 6m (10ft x 20ft)
  • aluminium grommets for safe attaching
  • material: high-density polyethylene

To Consider:

  • good customer reviews
  • lightweight (1.1kg)
  • durable – lock pin structure, six-wire edging
  • suitable for multiple uses
  • available in various sizes

This 30% shade cloth has been made to last, which means you don’t need to worry about replacing it any time soon. The shade density of 30% makes it ideal for sun-loving veggies such as tomatoes.

What Colour Shade Cloth Is Best For Greenhouses?

While the main factor for choosing a shade cloth for greenhouses is the density, the colour can also have an impact.

The main colours for shade cloths are black and green. You can also get white ones, although they are less common. 

But what colour is the best shade cloth for greenhouses? Well, that depends on what you are growing. Because different colours have different properties in terms of sun reflection and absorption.

The lighter a shade cloth is, the more heat it will reflect. So a white shade cloth will cool down your greenhouse the most. However, a light shade cloth is not so good at blocking out sunlight. 

Black shade cloths are good at blocking out sunlight, but they also absorb heat. This means that it is not so good at cooling down the greenhouse. As cooling down the greenhouse is one reason for using a shade cloth, this is important.

However, even a black shade cloth will still lower the temperature in the greenhouse, just not as much as a white one would. But there are other ways to cool down your greenhouse, such as opening windows, doors and vents.

For all these reasons, most gardeners think that the best shade cloths for greenhouses are green. They are better at blocking out sunlight than white ones, at the same time, they reflect more heat than black ones. A green shade cloth also allows wavelengths to pass through that are useful for plants, namely red and blue light.

This is the light that is absorbed by the leaf surface during photosynthesis. 

The best shade cloths for greenhouses are actually aluminet shade cloths. These are a sliver colour, which is efficient at both blocking out sunlight and reflecting heat. However, this type of shade cloth is not readily available for domestic use and is mostly used for commercial greenhouses. As a result, it is also very expensive to get.

So, taking all this into account, a green shade cloth is the best option for a greenhouse. But you still have to make sure you choose the right density for the plants you grow.

Is A 50% Shade Cloth Good For A Greenhouse? 

tomatoes grown in a greenhouse

When it comes to selecting the best shade density for your greenhouse, it depends on what you are growing. Different plants will need various amounts of sunlight to thrive.

As already mentioned above, for vegetables, the range is between 30% and 50%. Sun-loving vegetables such as tomatoes need more sunlight and do best with a 30% shade cloth.

On the other side are vegetables such as lettuce or spinach, that need more shade in the summer months and will do better with a 50% shade cloth.

So covering your greenhouse with a 50% shade cloth might be too much for some plants.

Here is a general guide on what kind of plants need what shade density.

  • Plants that love the sun and heat, like tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and peppers, will do best with a 30% shade cloth.
  • Most other vegetables and fruits will do well with a 40% – 50% shade cloth.
  • Plants that need it cooler and prefer partial shade in summer, such as lettuce or spinach, will benefit from a 50% shade cloth.

Is A Woven Or Knitted Shade Cloth Better?

There are two types of shade cloths, woven and knitted. Both are made from polyethylene but the way they are made is different.

Both can be used for greenhouses. However, the knitted type is generally lighter and more durable due to its structure. The woven type is heavier, which means it will also be less breathable and keep more heat inside. 

Most people prefer to use a knitted shade cloth for their greenhouse, as it’s lighter and more durable. But both types can be used to shade your plants and keep them from getting damaged by the sun. That’s why we have included both types in our list of best shade cloths for greenhouses.

What To Look Out For When Buying A Shade Cloth For A Greenhouse

When buying a shade cloth for your greenhouse, there are a lot of factors to consider. This can make it a bit tricky to decide. Our experts’ pick of the 5 best shade cloths for greenhouses are all suitable, but there are things you should keep in mind.

What Do You Want To Grow?

vegetable garden

Before you can decide what greenhouse shade cloth to get, you have to know what you will grow under it. As we have already mentioned, different plants have different shade needs.

This is the starting point, because it will determine what shade density you will need and what colour would work best.

If you are planning to grow plants that have different shade needs, you could divide your greenhouse and cover one half with a higher density cloth and the other with a lower density cloth. This will provide different light levels in the same space.

But even so, you still need to get the best shade cloth for your greenhouse.

Shade Density & Colour

As already discussed, you need to ensure that the cloth lets through enough light for the plants you want to grow. This is a vital factor, but once you have decided on what you will grow, it should be easy to decide.

Colour wise, if you also want to lower the temperature in your greenhouse, a white cloth will be more efficient. If you need to block sunlight more efficiently, black works better. However, most gardeners opt for a green shade cloth as this will be efficient in both. 

Durability And Quality

The best shade cloth for greenhouses will last for several seasons, so make sure you buy one that is made of good quality materials.

A knitted cloth will last longer than a woven one, so if you live in a windy area, you want to look out for a shade cloth that is resistant to tearing and fraying.

However, this won’t matter as much, if you are planning on installing the cloth inside the greenhouse as internal shades. The best shade cloths for greenhouses can be fixed inside or outside, so it depends on what your preference is.

Price

what is your budget

Finally, the price is also important. While you don’t want to spend a fortune on this, equally, you don’t want to buy a cheap cloth that needs replacing halfway through summer. 

Our experts’ picks of the 5 best shade cloths for greenhouses include both cheaper and more expensive options. I always try to buy the best quality I can afford, so I don’t have to replace it too often.

Now that you know what to look out for, check again our list of the 5 best shade cloths for greenhouses. You will be sure to find the one for you.

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