Need shade cloth for peppers/tomato plants ??


So hot here, high 90's ,no rain.

I've read that pepper plants and tomato plants do better if they have afternoon shade.

I don't have any in my yard. I've bought a shade cloth 60% green from Gemplers for my green house and am happy with it.

Any suggestions on color and % of shade to buy for vegetable garden. Any ideas would sure be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


There are just too many variables for me to be comfortable with any recommendations.
My neighbor has tomatoes growing under a large tree and they get only about 4-6 hrs of direct sun.They look great.

I used 30% overhead shade 8B outside in Alabama and toms did well.

I used 80% on my greenhouse which often hit 140F even with great ventilation and even though 99% of the people will say "no way" I never lost a plant from the heat.

Also look into Aluminet instead of shade cloth. More expensive though

I am new to zone 7B so am just now trying to"learn the ropes" in this area.

Good gardening
Since home gardeners love to tinker I'll bet someone in this area has used shade cloth/Aluminet in this area and will advise you. I also will be looking forward to comments.
Barring any advice to the contrary I am going to try 30% Aluminet next year.

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

i have grown tomaotes and peppers in full sun for 20 years and have never had any trouble. you just have to make sure you give them enough water.


I do water but some of the fruit has been getting sun burned. We have long hot days and lots of humidity. I'm sure I could water more. Thanks for your input, I will water more often. I've been trying to give them an inch a week and plants are mulched with shredded hardwood.

Heat is really bothering me this year too.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

vhanna, you may want to try draping your plants with Reemay, or maybe even some tulle (from fabric stores) to protect your fruit from sunscald. That may be much easier and cheaper than purchasing shade cloth.

Also, since you mentioned your tomatoes are getting burnt, I never prune tomato plants here in NC due to the potential sun scald; the more foliage the better.

Lastly, keep in mind, it sure has been a hotter-than-normal summer this year! I'm with you there, these nearly-100 days are wearing on all of us, eh?




Thanks for your input.

I did prune the suckers, learned a lesson. This is my first year with this area. I had planted in with the shrubs and flowers around the house last year (first time growing veggies) Only had grown flowers shrubs etc. but with groceries going up and we're retired I thought, need to grow something we can eat!!

I'm so happy I belong to Dave's garden, so many nice and informative people. Reading in books is not the same as "hands on info".

Appreciate all the help I can get!!

Greeley, CO(Zone 5b)

I agree w/ Horseshoe, I use tool from the fabric store to shade my spinach, lettuce and tomatoes, it works great. My only suggestion would be to take it off your tomatoes if you know it is going to rain. It doesn't take much to weigh it down and break some of those smaller branches,it will also last longer if you can keep it as dry as possible.

Greeley, CO(Zone 5b)

Here is a pic of the netting on my broccoli. I have one that did not get covered and the head has a burn on it, the ones that are covered have not burns. This also helps confuse the moths that want to lay eggs on the leaves.

Thumbnail by onyxwar
Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

vhanna, you have some of the same challenges there in OK that we have here in NTexas (of course). There is too much sun for peppers (since they don't like hot roots) and not enough rain sometimes. Also, the peppers would get sun scald which would make the peppers not grow very big.
My DH took boards from an old privacy fence, cut off the tops and bottoms of the boards which were rotting, and made panels by using screws to attatch them to 2 x 4 stakes. (made one end of each of the pieces of 2x 4's pointed.)
We drove the stakes/panels into the ground on each side of a row of three plants at such an angle that the ground would be shaded all day long. The panels are about two feet tall so the top of the plants get lots of sun, but the soil and lower part of the plants are shaded. It has worked very well and we are getting more peppers now than any year since we moved here. The panels also help protect the pepper plants when the wind gets to blowing hard and they keep the soil from drying out so fast. It was an easy and inexpensive way to solve the problem - just wish we had thought of it five years ago.



Great idea you have. I've been out watering again today. Just letting water run on the ground. I do have ground mulched and I think that keeps roots cooler.

Critters got in garden last night and ate lots of tomatoes and melons. I think it might be raccoons. Garden is fenced so turtles and armadillos can't get in. Always something eating what you grow!!

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Yep, everything likes to eat what we like to eat, its enough to make a person want to build a giant greenhouse with iron doors and an alarm system.
My garden is fenced too, and we have a good dog that keeps the rabbits and other varmits away. But this year the grasshoppers are worse than I've ever seen. The squash bugs were pretty bad too, even though I picked the eggs and squished a gazillion of the ones that hatched (from eggs I missed). Oh well , still got lots of spaghetti squash so I shouldn't complain.

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