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Author Topic: Homemade Shade Cloth?  (Read 3664 times)

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Homemade Shade Cloth?
« on: December 02, 2013, 12:58:54 PM »
I'm thinking our little cherimoyas need some shading in our Grow Tent (http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=8167.msg104359#msg104359)

Was planning to build a PVC frame to put over them and then cover with some kind of shade cloth, preferably something I already have lying around the house.

In my novice's mind, shade is shade, whether it comes from loosely woven fabric or window screen or whatever. 

Do I actually have to go buy shade cloth or can I use some scrap fabric or window insect screen that I have?  I'm not really finding many references to makeshift shade cloth anywhere. 

I guess the downside would be controlling/knowing the amount of light transmission you're getting. Not that I have any idea how much shade they need :)

Doglips

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 01:15:30 PM »
You can shade with anything you want.  If you don't have a light meter you may have issues of getting the level of shading you want.
The issue for most is durability.  How long can it handle the UV, wind, rain and elements.  If you're in a grow tent the only issue you really have is how long before the material breaks down due to UV.  There is no law about what shade material is.

I wouldn't think cherimoyas wouldn't have any issue with grow lights, unless you are running some serious lumens.  You could also dumb down your lighting unless there are other plants you want to get more.  Even directional positioning may give you the tweak you want. 

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 01:23:33 PM »
You can shade with anything you want.  If you don't have a light meter you may have issues of getting the level of shading you want.
The issue for most is durability.  How long can it handle the UV, wind, rain and elements.  If you're in a grow tent the only issue you really have is how long before the material breaks down due to UV.  There is no law about what shade material is.

I wouldn't think cherimoyas wouldn't have any issue with grow lights, unless you are running some serious lumens.  You could also dumb down your lighting unless there are other plants you want to get more.  Even directional positioning may give you the tweak you want.

Thanks for the info. Yes I'm surprised the cherimoyas seem to be having issues with the light, based solely on what folks have told me. But they seem to be burning for sure.

The light is only a 400W and I have hung fairly high.

I guess the issue could be heat .... from what I've read, cherimoyas aren't exactly heat-loving.....?

Doglips

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2013, 01:31:08 PM »
Lower wintertime humidity could be exacerbating the issue.

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 05:13:59 PM »
Lower wintertime humidity could be exacerbating the issue.

Yep I had the same thought...wicked dry in our house with the central heat running.  I added a black tray with water to try to up the humidity and also have restricted the ventilation a bit...definitely a work in progress....I'm way out of my league!  LOL

ericalynne

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2013, 07:56:04 PM »
I have used scrap fabric woven with holes successfully. With fabric, you are guessing at how much coverage, but it was lots cheaper to use what I had lying around than buying something.
Erica

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 12:51:51 AM »
I'm thinking our little cherimoyas need some shading in our Grow Tent (http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=8167.msg104359#msg104359)

Was planning to build a PVC frame to put over them and then cover with some kind of shade cloth, preferably something I already have lying around the house.

In my novice's mind, shade is shade, whether it comes from loosely woven fabric or window screen or whatever. 

Do I actually have to go buy shade cloth or can I use some scrap fabric or window insect screen that I have?  I'm not really finding many references to makeshift shade cloth anywhere. 

I guess the downside would be controlling/knowing the amount of light transmission you're getting. Not that I have any idea how much shade they need :)


Complete shade is very different than dappled light. Loosely woven fabrics provide dappled light, tight woven fabrics give complete shade. If you're going to use fabric a loosely woven one like potato sacks is best, you don't want to use your old jeans.  ;)
In the old days people used palm frond teepes to provide shade. You can see that still being used in many parts of Polynesia. Works pretty well, but doesn't last as long as shade cloth.
Oscar

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 01:16:36 AM »
I'll say that based on my previous experience, your cherimoyas are not getting too much light from the pictures you have shared showing how far they are from the light.  Low humidity, excessive heat, salt burn from over-fertilization could all be causes...  But in my opinion too much light from a 400W CMH bulb more than 2 feet above the plants isn't the cause.  I've grown cherimoyas under 400W CMH bulbs before (at 50% humidity) and the top of the plant was 8" from the bulb before it showed any sign of light/heat stress.

If it is less than 85 degrees at leaf-level, it isn't heat stress.  I'm guessing it is low humidity, or less likely salt-burn from the water, soil or fertilizer that is making them look burned.

I should add that there is a very small chance that your CMH bulb is defective (with a broken / compromised outer jacket) and letting way too much UV light through, but when that happens it generally makes the bulb explode catastrophically (I'm guessing you would have noticed that), and even if it hadn't, all of your plants would be getting burned by excess UV light, not just the cherimoyas.  If you notice yourself getting a sunburn from exposure to the light you'll know for sure-- but again, if the outer envelope fails the whole bulb usually explodes.

I'd suggest cutting back on ventilation and possibly adding a humidifier inside the tent.  If temperatures inside the tent at leaf-level are 85 degrees or less you're fine with ventilation.  Air movement within the tent (stirring air around with an oscillating fan) is more important if temperatures aren't too high, and they likely aren't in your tent setup with only a 400W bulb.  If that doesn't help, I'd consider getting your water tested to see what the salt / dissolved solids contents are; it is possible that you just need a water filter to keep your cherimoyas happy.

   Kevin
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 01:21:27 AM by CoPlantNut »

Doglips

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 04:01:39 AM »
[Complete shade is very different than dappled light. Loosely woven fabrics provide dappled light, tight woven fabrics give complete shade. If you're going to use fabric a loosely woven one like potato sacks is best, you don't want to use your old jeans.  ;)
In the old days people used palm frond teepes to provide shade. You can see that still being used in many parts of Polynesia. Works pretty well, but doesn't last as long as shade cloth.

Ooh, good point here.  When you are shading outside, the sun moves (the earth doesn't move, big myth), so you could potentially burn a checkerboard pattern onto the plants.  But in any case, you should probably listen to the advice of the cherimoya pro's first.

Mark in Texas

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2013, 08:22:45 AM »
Something else is going on there, certainly not too much light.  If I had to guess those leaves are "seeing" about 3,000 f.c.

For starts soil looks dry to me  which could increase salts at the root zone.  Also, I don't like those type of saucers as they don't allow the soil to breath or drain as well as the black commercial pots with 6 large drainholes sitting in plastic plant saucers.  Soil should stay constantly moist.  Moist, not saturated.

Heat?  Do you have enough air exchange?

Tents are OK until the plants outgrow the restrictive footprint.

Good luck ~
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 08:30:41 AM by Mark in Texas »

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2013, 09:00:08 AM »
Thanks so much for all the advice and food for thought.  I am such a novice with all of this, so it's all very helpful. I just hope I can learn fast enough to keep ahead of the potential demise of these plants!

I will post more later as I have time to digest all this.

KarenRei

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2013, 09:42:29 AM »
How hot is it in your tent? Grow tents have the potential to get sweltering, depending on circumstances. I mean, I'm running a lot more wattage in my tent than you... but my tent has something like 10 times the surface area to dissipate it.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 09:44:19 AM by KarenRei »
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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2013, 09:47:50 AM »
How hot is it in your tent? Grow tents have the potential to get sweltering, depending on circumstances. I mean, I'm running a lot more wattage in my tent than you... but my tent has something like 10 times the surface area to dissipate it.

This is really embarrassing, but I actually don't know  :o  I still don't have a thermometer in there (is my cheapness becoming evident?)

It doesn't seem to be excessively hot, just from how it feels when I open it. But I'm just gonna have to get with the program and get a thermometer/hygrometer. 

KarenRei

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2013, 10:40:46 AM »
How hot is it in your tent? Grow tents have the potential to get sweltering, depending on circumstances. I mean, I'm running a lot more wattage in my tent than you... but my tent has something like 10 times the surface area to dissipate it.

This is really embarrassing, but I actually don't know  :o  I still don't have a thermometer in there (is my cheapness becoming evident?)

It doesn't seem to be excessively hot, just from how it feels when I open it. But I'm just gonna have to get with the program and get a thermometer/hygrometer.

You could go all CoPlantNut and have a computer constantly log your humidity and temperature levels over time  ;)  (lol, I'll probably be at that stage of tropicals obsession before too long..  ;)  )
Jß, Úg er a­ rŠkta su­rŠnar pl÷ntur ß ═slandi. Nei, Úg er ekki klikku­. JŠja, kannski...

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Homemade Shade Cloth?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2013, 01:00:59 PM »
How hot is it in your tent? Grow tents have the potential to get sweltering, depending on circumstances. I mean, I'm running a lot more wattage in my tent than you... but my tent has something like 10 times the surface area to dissipate it.

This is really embarrassing, but I actually don't know  :o  I still don't have a thermometer in there (is my cheapness becoming evident?)

It doesn't seem to be excessively hot, just from how it feels when I open it. But I'm just gonna have to get with the program and get a thermometer/hygrometer.

You could go all CoPlantNut and have a computer constantly log your humidity and temperature levels over time  ;)  (lol, I'll probably be at that stage of tropicals obsession before too long..  ;)  )

I guess the Nut part is for real!

Well by way of update, I gauged the temp in the tent, and it's showing a whopping 82 degrees F.

 

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