DIY Garden Shade Cloth

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This isn’t a post filled with pretty pictures today, it’s a functional DIY garden idea that I use over and over again and thought you might take something from it.

How to Make Garden Shade Cloth On a Budget | DIY Garden Shade Cloth | CreativeCainCabin.comEvery year I add shade cloth to my garden veggies that can’t take the sun beating down on them all day. You can’t find actual “shade cloth” where I’m from so I’ve designed my own on the cheap…..and by cheap I mean pennies compared to the real stuff. 

How to MAke Garden Shade Cloth On a Budget | DIY Garden Shade Cloth | CreativeCainCabin.comMy secret is Nylon Netting. You’ll find it in the fabric department by the yard and it comes in every color you can think of (I normally get green but they were out this time so I got dark blue). If you use shower scrubbies that’s what they’re made from, so you’ll recognize it when you see it. I always buy mine at Wally World because it’s dirt cheap there, normally 39¢ a yard. 

How to Make Garden Shade Cloth On a Budget | DIY Garden Shade Cloth | CreativeCainCabin.comAll you need are 4 plant stakes, sticks, or whatever you can find to serve as corner posts, nylon netting, and zip ties (another favorite thing of mine). Measure and cut the needed yardage, put your corner posts in the ground and zip tie the netting to the posts at an apppropriate hight for the plants growth and watering needs. You now have shade for your wilting plants. I find my spinach, lettuce, and cucumbers do better under nylon netting. The soil stays moist, they get relief from the heat, and the rainfall still gets through. 

How to Make Garden Shade Cloth On a Budget | DIY Garden Shade Cloth | CreativeCainCabin.comHere you can see how much it actually blocks out. I have learned the dark colors of the netting block more sun so look for that if there’s a selection. I like at the end of the season the netting goes in the trash and I don’t feel wasteful. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more ideas.




  1. says

    Great idea, Dawn. I might do this for my hydrangea that gets too much sun!


  2. says

    That works great Dawn. I use old garden umbrellas set up around the plant tables. Though so far this year I’ve only had them up a couple of times. Lately we’ve had lots of rain and wind and cloud cover.

    • says

      Linda same here a lot of rain. I’ve only watered myself a few time. I use umbrellas in my potted plants, the cheap ones from the dollar store.

  3. says

    Another great garden idea Dawn!…I am sure your veggies are thanking you for the shade!…Have a great weekend!

    • says

      Shirley, now if I can just keep the rabbits from trying to eat the garden.

  4. says

    I use old sheer curtains, the ones that feel silky. I wash them off with the hose in Fall, let them dry and reuse them the next year. I put mine up yesterday as we finally are getting some heat again after a month of cool weather. My lettuce and kale was looking a bit wilty with an 85 degree day so I took pity on them and whipped out the curtains. I planted my lettuce and kale behind the tomatoes so they would shade them but they aren’t tall enough yet.

    • says

      Pam, I keep my lettuce and kale in pots on the deck that only get the morning sun so that helps them immensely. Brilliant idea about the sheer curtains they have them at thrift stores all the time for almost nothing. Our weather is rainy and cool lately we need some sun. My tomatoes are about knee high and loaded with golf ball size tomatoes. Hope it’s a good crop this year.

  5. says

    What a great idea, Dawn. Thanks for sharing. xo Laura

    • says

      Laura you’re welcome. Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Cheryl Major says

    What a great idea Dawn. You have such great tips Thanks !!

    • says

      Thank you Cheryl, now I wish I had a way to keep the bunnies out of the garden, lol.

  7. Nancy Blue Moon says

    What a savings using the cheap netting fabric!

    • says

      Nancy and it seems to work just as good. Im in the garden every night cutting spinach for my morning smoothie and it’s not burnt up by the sun.

  8. says

    Brilliant Dawn! Does this shade netting allow you to plant lettuce or spinach longer? What a great idea!

    • says

      Yes Yvonne it keeps the sun off them and you can plant and harvest all summer long. I eat spinach every day in my smoothie and I need at least 25 plant to keep up with my use, normally in the hot sun they quit producing but not with the shade cloth.

  9. chaz says

    I have some younger elephant ear plants made for full sun, but are not doing well in the extreme sun here in South Carolina. Have you found a noticeable difference in using this rather sheer material?

    • says

      Chaz, yes I notice a huge difference. They grow and produce so much better with just that small amount of filtered sunlight.

      • chaz says

        GREAT…….because have you priced real shade cloth?!?

        • says

          Chaz, yes I have and it’s pricey 🙁 I have a fellow blogger that uses sheer curtain, you can pick them up for pennies at thrift stores and it works the same, so that’s another idea!

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