Greenhouse blinds protect your vegetables, flowers, and garden plants from the hot sun of summer and various other elements. Blinds also can provide insulation, trapping the daytime heat while the ambient air cools off at night. Proper blinds should be sturdy, adjustable and come with clear installation instructions. Providing the right kind of shade for your vegetable garden can ensure that you do not overheat your plants...otherwise the air inside a greenhouse can rise to be 10-20 degrees hotter than the outside air.
Due to direct sunlight, blinds are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation which causes a breakdown of the materials. UV stabilization is a necessary manufacturing process that will increase the longevity of the materials that blinds are made from. Ensure that any blinds that you buy have been UV stabilized (check the warranty).
Blinds can be attached to the interior or exterior of your greenhouse and therefore are not only exposed to sunlight, but wind, rain, hail, and other elements. We always look for blinds that have sewn and taped edges to prevent tearing. Blinds should have sturdy grommets and mounting hardware so that they will not tear where they are attached to your greenhouse.
Blinds come in various densities that indicate the level of light they block out. For example, a 40% blind will block out 40% of incoming light. A large majority of vegetable require 6-10 hours of sumlight per day, and therefore you may only need a low percentage blind for temperature control and crop protection for the elements.
Blinds are manufacturered in various colors. Some shade clothes can have the same level of shade but come in multiple colors for decorative purposes. For instance, green is a poplular choice for nurseries and backyard patios.
Greenhouses are best be kept cool by blinds that are mounted on the exterior of the greenhouse (usually an inch or so off the roof or wall). Exterior mounted blinds need to be strong enough to resist the wind.
Interior mounted blinds are easier to adjust and are not exposed to the elements. They may also cost less because they do not need to be as robust.
Blinds can be made of wood, cloth, or some form of plastic. Wood is often long-lasting but does not allow varying levels of light to come through. Cloth and plastics do allow for varying levels of light, depending on the density of the material. Some materials also have aluminum build into the material that increases the reflection of the sun.