A Low Cost, DIY Shade House
I've needed a shade house for some time - although I did not want a permanent structure, did not want to spend much money on a solution and wanted it quickly. I also did not have space in my backyard - so a compromise had to be reached. I bought a bunch of pvc, sacrificed half our lawn and a section of bedraggled garden in order to make a level and weed free, shade house utopia.
|PVC Shade House|
Materials to build the structure were mainly pvc pipes and fittings as you can see below. The 4"x4" table legs are from some 50yr old, redwood fencing we just had replaced. After removing the rotten ends - the redwood was in surprisingly great shape.
|PVC Shade House Frame|
By far the most expensive part of this project was buying lumber. Had I saved some of the old fence boards or looked on a "free cycle" site I probably could have saved $100+. Oh well. I have had wood sitting around for years before waiting on a project... I just didn't want to be that guy again.
Another way to save money would have been to go with a "hoop house" design and avoid the need to buy most of the expensive pvc fittings I used in my pitched roof design.
|Shade house tables completed|
Next it was time to secure the 20' x 12' section of shade cloth I'd ordered online. I secured the lower edges with nylon cord to pressure treated lumber attached to the frame. "zipties" were used in other places to secure the cloth to the pvc frame.
|Adding cloth to the shade house|
After tightly securing the shade cloth it's time to add some plants! Its worth noting that this yard is subject to hours of 15mph - 30mph sustained winds and gusts on a daily basis during Spring and Summer. Drives me crazy to be honest.
Most of these trays are not great for optimizing space... I built the tables deep enough to hold 2 flats, each of which can hold 16 x 4" pots. I'll have to pick up more of the right sized trays.
|Young Agave in the new shade house|
These young plants will be transitioned to full sun (and larger pots) once they've become acclimated to the life under this 40% shade cloth (blocks 40% of the sun's UV rays).