There is no substitute for shade when protecting your crops from the sun and wind. Shade nets are an important part of any farm, and as such, they should be installed correctly to ensure maximum efficiency. However, farmers make a few common mistakes when installing shade nets, leading to decreased yields and increased expenses. This article will outline the seven most common mistakes made when building a shade net house and how to avoid them.
What you should consider before building a shade net
There are several factors you must consider when building a shade net. Here are a few features you will need to consider:
- Light requirements
- The crop you plant to grow
- Location and size of the farm
- Airflow requirement
Location of the farm
Your shade net should be located in an area that receives maximum sunlight, has proper drainage, and has good soil. Besides, it should not be constructed with falling branches and prone to flooding. Also, the area should have easy access to utilities like electricity and water. In drier areas, you can use drip irrigation systems to increase water efficiency and minimize water loss.
You should plan where you want to install your shade net. Although the light requirements of different plants vary, you should consider installing your shade net in an area where it will be receiving maximum sunlight.
Air Flow requirements
Proper airflow is an important factor regardless of what you are growing. You need a shade net that addresses any ventilation concerns.
Common mistakes when building shade nets
Here are seven common mistakes that gardeners make when building shade nets.
1. Not measuring the area to be covered
A shade net is a long-term investment which means you have to do everything in the right way. The size of the shade net varies depending on what you are planting, the amount of irrigation water available, the material used, and the size of the land. Unfortunately, most people fail to measure the area that they need to install their shade net house. They end up with a shade net that might be too small or too large for their farm. For instance, if you are a nursery owner or propagate seedlings, you can consider getting a smaller shade net than a large-scale lettuce farmer.
It is essential to measure the area that the shade net house will cover to determine the necessary size and shape of the structure. This will help ensure that the shade net house is correctly fitted to the designated area.
2. Not installing the nets properly
Another common mistake that gardeners make is not installing the nets properly and failing to anchor them firmly to the ground. If the net is not firmly attached, it can easily be blown by the wind, damaging your crops. Besides, farmers may install insufficient netting, providing ineffective shading. This can lead to decreased crop yields and increased irrigation and pest control costs. Furthermore, if the net becomes twisted or kinked while in use, it will reduce its effectiveness by trapping heat and moisture near the plants.
3. Not Including the Roof in Your calculations
Another common mistake when installing shade nets is not including the roof in your calculations. Net houses are to cover a large area, so you must account for all angles of sunlight reaching the ground. If the roof isn’t included in your calculation, you might design something that might be too small, resulting in decreased yields and increased expenses.
4. Not selecting the right type of netting
The second common mistake is using the wrong type of netting. For instance, sunscreen-coated polyethylene (SPE) mesh nets are a popular choice for shade because they are lightweight and easy to install, but they cannot protect crops from wind or rain. Heavy cotton duck canvas nets offer more protection from wind and rain but can be challenging to put in place without assistance.
5. sing the wrong type of anchor
The third common mistake is using the wrong type of anchor to secure your nets to the ground. Metal anchors are typically used in areas with a lot of wind, while concrete or peg anchors can be used in areas with less wind. However, both types of anchors can suffer from corrosion over time if not installed correctly, especially when the humidity levels are high. Instead, choose an anchoring system specifically designed for shading purposes, such as a slotted pole holder or an adjustable stake.
6. Not purchasing a quality net
The quality of a shade net is an essential factor that every gardener should consider. Unfortunately, some people buy a low-quality cheap net that only lasts for a short period and requires regular maintenance. You need to look for a high-quality net, durable and made from a strong material.
7. Not factoring in the height of the net
Another common mistake that people make when ordering a shade net is not factoring in the net’s height. Before building a shade net, you need to consider the height of the crops you are planning to plant. For instance, if you plan to grow maize, the height may be different from when you plan to grow tomato plants or sweet potatoes. An extremely low net may not offer the adequate protection that you may need for your plants.
Shade nets are an essential part of farm management, and it’s no wonder that they are so popular. However, constructing a shade net house is not an easy task and can often result in mistakes if not done correctly. To get the value of your money and to maximize your growing efficiency. t Mazero Agrifood, we help you avoid these mistakes and make smart choices. We help you build shade nets that suit your specifications and use high-quality materials. Contact us today.