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How to Make Sun Shades Covers for Vegetable Gardens

By Jessica Jewell ; Updated September 21, 2017
Peas are one of several vegeables that prefer shade to strong sunlight.

While sunshine is essential for growing vegetables, too much of it can damage them in your garden. To protect certain vegetables from continuous sunlight, you can use a shade cover. With the correct fabric and construction technique, you can protect your vegetable garden from strong sunshine, and other potentially damaging elements, such as insects.

Step 1

Select a fabric that you would like to use for your garden. In some ways, this may be an aesthetic decision, as there are many types available at gardening stores that protect against a variety of elements (sun, frost, insects). Linen and muslin are traditional materials to use for sun covers in gardens; more modern versions of netting and fabrics are often made from polypropylene and polyethylene.

Step 2

Create a frame for the shade cover by inserting flexible metal stakes into the soil just in front of the vegetables that you want to cover. Pull the stakes back to form an arch over the vegetables, pushing the other ends of the stakes into the soil behind the vegetables. The length of your vegetable row will determine how many stakes you need to insert in the soil; try to place a stake arch every 2 feet along the vegetable row.

Step 3

Cover the arch with the garden fabric. Handle the fabric carefully and avoid poking holes in it or ripping it on the arch. Make sure the vegetables are covered completely.

Step 4

Secure the fabric to the garden with metal stakes or heavy rocks.

Step 5

Check the sun shade cover on a daily basis to detect possible holes or damage. Also, if you notice that your vegetables are suffering under the cover or not growing as they should, remove them so they receive more sun.


Things You Will Need

  • Linen garden fabric
  • Flexible metal or plastic stakes
  • Metal stakes

About the Author


Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.