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How to Build Garden Shade Structures

By Contributor

In climates with excessively hot days during the growing season, many vegetable garden owners have learned how to use shade to protect their plants.

Determine the outside measurements of your growing area then expand the length and width by 2' each and compute the size of the area to be covered. For example, a garden measuring 12 feet in length and 4 feet wide, would mean 14' by 6' or 84 sq.feet.

The method requires the 2x2 to be sunk into the ground surface. I use a bar to create holes then sink the 2x2's using an axe sharpened tip into the holes finishing with a 2 pound sledge. The poles should be 2 feet apart always have a pole at the end of each directional span. Your intent should be to shade the area of the garden from the heat of the direct sun. In most places this mean the south /western sides need to be shaded.

Once the posts are up, screw 1x4 into the poles at the bottom, middle and top of the posts. Now you can stretch the netting on the posts using a staple gun to affix the net to the posts and the spanning 1x4's.

If the placement allows direct sun into the garden from above then a top is required. Using the 2x2's build a frame, most likely a triangular shape which can be affixed to the top of the framing enclosure and affix the same netting material as the side walls.


Things You Will Need

  • 2x2 lumber
  • green or black mess material


  • use at least 1/2 inch staples
  • drill starter holes in the 2x2's and the 1x4's to eliminate splintering
  • use roofing nails to secure the netting

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