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What percent of shade cloth for tomatoes?

tomato shade cloth percentage

What percent of shade cloth for tomatoes?

When growing tomatoes, it can be difficult to strike the right balance between providing them with enough sunlight and preventing them from getting too much sun.

Excessive sun exposure can cause your tomatoes to become scorched or blistered, which will ruin their flavor and appearance.

So what is the best shade rate for tomatoes?

The answer is that the most suitable shade percentage for tomatoes is 30 to 50%.

Choosing the right percentage of Shade cloth for tomatoes is the perfect way to protect your plants from the sun while still allowing them to get enough light.

A study done by Gent showed that total yield decreased with increasing shade (15%,30%, 50%), but there was no effect of shade on the yield of marketable fruit. The fraction of marketable fruit was greatest for plants grown under 50% shade. Cracked skin was the most affected fruit defect by shade; up to 35% of the tomatoes produced in greenhouses without shade had cracked skin, whereas, in greenhouses covered with 50% shade, only 25% to 29% of the tomatoes had cracked skin.

Liu’s study showed that tomatoes could grow well and produce higher yields if some moderate shading (40% shading) was applied at the LF stage in summer midday.

Another study from Texas indicated that shading tomato plants at 50% shade reduced heat stress, whereas a lower percentage of shade was better.

Different shade cloths provide different levels of shade, so it is important to choose the right one for your needs.

So, A shading rate of 30-50 will have a beneficial effect on your tomato growth.

tomatoes, fruits, food-3520004.jpg

In the previous section, we answered the question about the correct shading rate for tomatoes.

In this article, we will continue our discussion on the shading problem when growing tomatoes in a few ways.

When to shade tomatoes?

Summer is the best time to shade your tomatoes.

According to research, shading that reduced daily integrated solar radiation to 5-6 MJ.m(-2) effectively increased marketable fruit yields when the air temperature exceeded 25 degrees C.

What color shade cloth for tomatoes?

Colors often used for shade screens include black, pearl white, red, and green.

A study in the southern part of Serbia (Aleksinac) concluded that shading reduced the appearance of tomato cracking by 50% and eliminated sun scalds on tomato fruits, thereby increasing marketable tomato production by 35% compared to non-shading conditions.
Sunscald injury, cracked skin, and blossom-end rot were the most common defects that were affected by pearl and red nets with 40% shade.

In an experiment conducted by Zoran, tomatoes grown in greenhouses with red shade netting showed significantly higher lycopene content (64.9 μg g−1) than those grown in fields without such protective measures (48.1 μg g−1).

shade netting 1.jpg

Why do tomato skins split?

There are several reasons why tomato skins might split.

One reason is that the plant is receiving too much water and the fruit is growing too quickly.
This can happen if you water your plants too often or if you use a sprinkler system that waters the plants for too long.

Another reason for skin splitting can be fluctuating temperatures, such as if the plants are in a greenhouse that is not well-ventilated and has high temperatures.

Finally, certain varieties of tomatoes are more prone to skin splitting than others.
If you are growing a variety that is known for skin splitting, you can try using shade cloth or making sure that the plants are not receiving too much water.

tomato skin split
tomato skin split

Will tomatoes grow under shade cloth?

Tomatoes can grow under shade cloth, but they will not produce as much fruit as they would if they were grown in full sun.

The amount of shade that you provide will determine how well the plant grows and how much fruit it produces.

If you want to get the best results, you should use shade cloth that provides 30-50% shade.

tomatoes, fruit, food-1280859.jpg

Which color is best for protecting tomato plants from summer heat: black or white?

When it comes to protecting tomato plants from the summer heat, white shade netting is generally more effective than black.

White shade netting provides excellent shade while also reflecting sunlight. This reflection reduces the overall heat load on the plants, helping to keep them cooler.

Additionally, white netting offers diffuse reflection, which means it scatters the light more evenly.

This creates a more favorable microclimate for the plants, enhancing their growth conditions. In contrast, black shade netting primarily absorbs heat, which can sometimes result in higher temperatures underneath the net.

Therefore, with the same shade rate, white shade netting is superior for both shading and promoting the healthy growth of tomato plants. Extensive practice has proven that 35% white shade netting is optimal for growing tomatoes.

Hey, I’m Kevin Lyu, the founder of , Family-run business
An expert of agriculture protection textile specialist .
In the past 26 years, we have helped 55 countries and 150+ Clients like farms, orchards , vineyards to protect their plants. The purpose of this article is to share with the knowledge related to agriculture growing protection for making the plant healthier and stronger.
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In the past 26 years, we have helped 55 countries and 150+ Clients like farms, orchards, and vineyards to protect their plants and crops. 
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