How to install a shade tarp on your greenhouse
We actually got up to 88 degrees today in central PA. Anything in the 80’s with a lot of sun requires a shade tarp on my greenhouse, because 80’s and sunny outside will mean triple digits inside. The shade tarp will knock 15 degrees off on a sunny day. I wasn’t expecting to do this today, but it quickly became my top priority of the day as I realized it was going to be warmer than forecast.
At this point all of my cool season plants are outside, and my warm season plants will be put out by mid-May at the latest. This part of the greenhouse season is tricky because some days will be cool and cloudy enough that you will not want to have the tarp on, and other days like today where you will need it. It’s a good idea to set your shade tarp up so it is relatively easy to take it down and put it up. These are instructions to install a shade tarp on a small to medium greenhouse.
Grommets (Made specifically for the shade tarp I purchased)
1. Set out your shade tarp. If possible try to order a tarp that will fit the outside of your greenhouse, because cutting your tarp is a pain, and it will reduce the life of your tarp. You will notice from the picture at the end of this article that you don’t necessarily need to cover your entire greenhouse in shade tarp. In fact it may be better not to, so you can have some flexibility in your greenhouse. I get plenty of shade with my tarp, and I only cover 2/3 of the roof, and a small part of the front windows.
2. Install the grommets on the corners of your tarp, and spaced on the edges of the middle of the tarp if you have a medium sized greenhouse 150-500 square feet. The grommets are really easy to install. You just need to put the smaller piece underneath, the bigger on top. Then tap with a hammer until it locks into place. Then you just need to cut away the tarp to make the hole. The ‘S’ clips on my bungee cords fit between the fabric, so it did not bother cutting anything away.
3. Set your tarp on your greenhouse to determine where to hook up your bungee cords. I had to drill into some metal framing to give me a solid hook in the right place for my bungee cords.
4. Make sure your bungee cords are at least taut. They do not need to be stretched too much, but you want the tarp to stay in high winds.