Shade Cloth Application?

I have a backyard that is void of any real trees and it faces directly south. I am looking for ideas for shade or images of how you have set up shade or shade cloth for your bonsai.
Thanks

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I’m in about the same boat. Following this thread for sure.

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I would put (4) 10 or 12 foot tall 4X4’s in the ground and put 30% shade cloth up.

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Bjorn did a video of putting up shade supports and benches.


construction starts about 5 min into the video.
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I envy your capacity for full sun! My house has a north facing front porch, and a southern backyard almost totally covered by a massive maple and another deciduous. There’s one spot in the yard that gets sun from 8 am to 4pm at best once it rises over the neighbor’s trees to the east and before the house shades the area out. :cry:

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@NewbEngland Here is a bad panorama of my backyard.

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If your collection is not huge and/or you think you might end up moving it, what I did might work for you. I used black SteelTek structural pipe from Lowes to build the shade cloth frame. Just needed to pound some rebar into the ground and slip the pipe posts over it, rather than dig postholes in my lousy combination hard clay and shale soil. Then I used plastic greenhouse shadecloth clips to hold the shadecloth in place. It keeps it on incredibly well even in high winds, but you can slide the clips and pull the shadecloth back on cloudy days. A little pricier than lumber, but it’s quick and easy. If anyone wants to see pics, I’ll post a few tomorrow. In the middle of a wicked thunderstorm right now.

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Would love to see photos.

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Will take a few and post tomorrow.

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Hopefully the pics load. This is my first time trying to do this. Also, don’t judge my collection based on these pics - the good stuff is in the better spots in my yard. :slight_smile: Anyway, shadecloth is pushed to the end now, because of the current angle of the sun. It’s real easy to slide it back and just add a few clips on the end to keep it in place. If you decide to try this and go cheaper, learn from my mistake. Don’t try to use PVC pipe. I tried that first, and even with about 10” of rebar sticking up into all of the posts, the wind just picked the whole dang thing up and sent it across the yard. You’d need to really stake it down somehow and for me that would add tripping hazards. I left what’s in the pics out all winter with no issues at all, but it would be real easy to break down - you just need an allen wrench to disassemble. It has held up great in some incredibly nasty weather.

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They also make fittings for connecting electrical conduit to support shade cloth and other types of canopies. The conduit and fittings are definitely stiffer and heavier than PVC pipe, but will still need to be pinned to the ground. One of the fittings they make is for the bottom of the leg and it has 2 to 4 holes in a flat plate through which you can drive large nails or round steel tent stakes to hold them down. Just remember to drive them at opposing angles to resist uplift.

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I looked at those flanges, but I haven’t needed them. I put those frames up last July, left the shade cloth on over the winter, and have had no problems. I just slid it over rebar. The rebar is 16 or 18” long and pounded into the ground about halfway. If you went bigger than I did you might need that extra reinforcement, but I haven’t, at least so far.

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@C-N that is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

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Here are some pictures of my shade area.
Its constructed so that if I decide I need to move it I can take it apart and move it wherever I want.

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On the far side of my house there is a small area that is south facing, gets extreme sun and very hot. Utilizing the fence I used some wire cable to take the load and electrical conduit for rigidity to prop up the cloth. This can be taken down very easily if need be. Has expanded my usable area and given me a spot for developmental/project trees.

It was relatively cheap and easy to put together.

Good luck!

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This is over engineered but I had several concurrent problems. Due to watering, I had muddy dog paws that were going to get me killed by my wife and my water pH was 7.4. Additionally since this is in Texas, I needed 30-40% shade for about 9 /12months and I’ve had benches rot at the base in the past so I Wanted something stable.
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The posts are poured concrete set 4 feet in the ground. The area under the benches is excavated out, lined with a pond liner filled with 21 yards of gravel. This catchment area drains to a sump and the water gets pumped up to the storage tank in the picture to be reused I also collect the rainwater from the house to the same tank. My dogs no longer have muddy feet and the water for the bonsai has a pH of 6.8

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Now THAT is a nice build.

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I am enjoying everyone’s setups and ideas. Keep them coming. I am just afraid of the wind lifting something up. It gets gusty up here in MN. 40-50mph sometimes.

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Les-in-Tex.
I have often thought of using a sump system to reuse my water. How much (percentage-wise) do you think you reclaim? And during the winter, how much water are you not using because of the rain water. I bet you can adjust your pH and hardness much better also. How are the trees responding? Thanks

If you can’t put posts into the ground use the method that pilots use to anchor their planes on grass strips. Drive a pair of spikes into the ground and 45 degree angles so that they form an X with the center a few cm above the ground. Then tie your structure to the center of the X making sure to loop the rope or strap both vertically and horizontally around the crossing point. This is very difficult to pull from the ground, particularly if you use 2 ft. (60 cm) long grade stakes. There are also some newer screw in anchors that are difficult to pull.

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