Shade Structures for Fruit and Vegetable Production in Hot Temperatures

I spent five years working as an extension agent in a tropical country with small-scale vegetable. Vegetable Production

Vegetable Production producers and teaching agriculture students at a technical school about shade structures. One of the most interesting production practices I was exposed to was the use of shade canopies.

During my time there, we cultivated a wide variety of vegetables under shade, including lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, legumes, bell peppers, and many others. Since we were in a tropical environment, these canopies reduced solar radiation and created a cooler production environment. A simple system that involved metal posts and cables was used to secure the canopies over the fields, at a height that allowed access for all harvesting activities while also accommodating the use of compact tractors for field operations.

Shade Production with Shade Structures

The most common use for shade canopies in our area of the United States has always been related to reducing temperatures in greenhouses during the summer and in nurseries, in order to produce ornamental plants for shaded areas. Very little work has been done with canopies in the field of vegetable production.

As Delmarva farmers seek to expand or more effectively manage their summer crops, shade canopies could address certain needs in the fields. Certainly, vegetable production could benefit from a potential extension of lettuce production periods during the summer. Successive strawberry productions could represent another use for these canopies. Tomato and pepper growers could benefit from some shade during extremely hot periods.

Several studies have shown the potential of shade canopies to improve the quality of peppers and tomatoes.

Vegetable Production the lettuce production process, and the production of successive strawberry crops during the summer months. There are several cases of farmers who have incorporated shade canopies into their production systems, especially in high tunnels where the canopy can be placed over the plastic covers used during the summer.Toldos de malla sombra

There are several types of shade canopies available, with the most common colors being black and green. However, white or aluminized canopies offer additional cooling benefits. Other colors, like red, can benefit specific crops by filtering different light frequencies.

The use of these canopies can be a matter of balance.

A producer might need shade over their fields to reduce the impact of excessive heat on their crops. However, it’s not necessary to reduce light and warmth levels to the point where it significantly affects the photosynthesis process. Canopies come in various shading percentages. For vegetable crops, you can choose between a shading percentage of 20% to 40%, with around 30% being the most common recommendation.

How to Install Canopies

Shade canopies can be placed over cold frames, high or low tunnels, or they can be used with the post and cable system mentioned earlier.

Vegetable Production HORTOMALLAS
Warm season crops in shade structures allow protecting plants from excessive sunlight. (

Quality DIY Nursery & Garden Shade House Kits Ship Australian Wide (Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne & Canberra……)

Cultivating in summer is challenging

Planting and growing vegetables, flowers, or trees during the summer months in Australia has always been difficult. This is due to high temperatures, the high water requirements of plants, issues with weeds, insects, diseases, and occasional long periods of rain.

Typically, a germinated plant from indoor spaces will be moved from its igloo or greenhouse to an open area with 70% to 80% shade. After this, it will be replanted in an area with 30% shade and then transferred to full sunlight.

What is a shade structure?

A shade structure is a space that maximizes the growth of shade-loving plants for indoor spaces (as opposed to sun-loving plants grown in greenhouses), as well as the nurturing of seedlings.

A shade structure is a framework usually made of metal that supports a shade cloth – a type of fabric that provides some form of passive environmental control, in this case, shade, to protect plants from excessive sunlight and warm winds. In warmer climates, shade structures are useful as they allow for the cultivation of a wider range of plants that grow well in cooler or temperate regions but may not easily adapt to large amounts of direct sunlight. In case of drastic temperature drops, modern shade structures can be heated to prevent cold damage to the plants.

What plants need to be grown in a shade structure?

Several studies have shown that optimal shade conditions have a significant effect on the development of various plant species. Shade structures are ideal for growing:

Fruits and vegetables (like tomatoes)

Tree seedlings

Hydroponic production

Shade-loving ornamental flowers: ferns, azaleas, and orchids

Jungle plants: ginger, monsteras, philodendrons, and alocasias

Plants sensitive to extreme temperatures (both cold and hot): fuchsias, impatiens, and begonias

Other nursery plants that require more time for acclimatization

Vegetable Production
Umbráculos for Fruit and Vegetable Production in Hot Temperatures.

I spent five years working as an extension agent in a tropical country with small-scale vegetable producers and teaching agriculture students at a technical school about shade structures.

One of the most interesting production practices I encountered was the use of shade cloths.

During my time there, we cultivated a wide variety of vegetables under shade, including lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peppers, and many others. As we were in a tropical environment, these shade cloths reduced solar radiation and created a cooler production environment. A simple system using metal posts and cables was used to secure the shade cloths over the fields at a height that allowed access for all harvesting activities while still accommodating compact tractors for field operations.

Why Use a Shade Structure?

Shade structures are crucial in production and cultivation as they allow for maximizing plant growth, giving them more time to acclimate and harden for the conditions they will face in open spaces. There are numerous benefits to using a shade structure:


  Protect plants from wind, hail, and other pests

  Plants in extremely hot climates

    Plants sensitive to winter cold

Growth Improvements:

  Enable propagation of new plants

  Allow growth of tropical plants in temperate climates

Increase production and quality due to healthier root systems

  Improve space management through the use of multiple levels/layers within the shade structure

     Grow vegetables, flowers, and berries outside their usual seasons and faster than in open spaces

Cost Reduction:

   Significant savings in operational costs (energy, irrigation, spraying, etc.)

Labor costs: a better working environment increases efficiency

Safety Enhancements:

Suppression of plant diseases

  Prevent workers from exposure to extreme weather conditions

C-Mac Shade Structures – Why Choose Them?

High Quality:

Manufactured in Australia for the last 50 years (proven performance)

Strong and durable construction

No sharp edges or protrusions that could damage shade covers

   Frame is separated from the ground for extended lifespan

  Made from galvanized industrial steel tubing (internally and externally)

Flexibility of Implementation:

Delivered as assembly kits (made to order)

Patented couplings for precision that simply need to be connected

Easy assembly with 3D instructions (no screws or hooks required)

Shade structure assembly kits are available in double, single, and sloped cover models

Wide range of shade structure kits available, implementing the same materials and construction methods

All parts and components are designed to fit within a standard container size of 2400 x 1200, reducing transportation costs for deliveries within Australia

Our spring shade structures can easily be manufactured to fit directly into your yard or garden without the need for excavation or pouring

Wide range of spring shade structures available to offer options that suit customer needs (90% of customers choose a standard size shade structure)

Availability of Spare Parts and Additional Components:

   All transaction details are stored in our computerized MRP system

   Availability of spare parts for easier and immediate assembly

   Availability of parts and spares for products over 50 years old

Great Customer Service:

  C-Mac offers telephone support in case of issues during the assembly process

  C-Mac provides quotes for government and municipal warranties

“Urgent” quotes can be provided upon request


Tubular Frame: Vegetable Production

Made from stabilized materials to protect crops from ultraviolet rays Vegetable Production

Each shade cloth includes a high-quality cover that can be removed panel by panel

Covers can be tied to the shade structure frames using plastic-coated cables threaded through an eyelet, giving shade structures a clean, even finish free from partial or interrupted shadows

The shade cloths and covers of our shade structures are of high industrial quality:

All our shade cloths and covers have grommets for attaching them to the shade structure frames using plastic-coated cables

Grommets have double stitching in the folds for increased strength and resistance

   Similarly, shade cloths and covers have double seams and wear bands on the folds

In case the shade structure suffers damage or breakdown.

the different sections of the various parts of the shade structures facilitate repair or replacement of parts without the need to invest in a new shade structure. Shade cloth sections are divided into 3.2-meter segments (size per piece or section of the shade cloth, not the total) for ease of assembly, repair, and replacement. When the time comes to replace or renew shade cloths, they can be purchased through C-Mac. Replacement shade cloths will be tailored to the measurements provided by the customer.

Do you want to know how easy it is to assemble a C-Mac shade structure?

This video was originally produced by our customer Charlotte Webb (of the Botanic Gardens in the Southern Highlands in Bowral). The construction of this dimension shade structure was carried out by her volunteers.

[Video embedded in the original document]

Why Choose the Spring Shade Structure from C-Mac? Vegetable Production

I cannot praise Suzi, Aaron, and the rest of the C-Mac Industries team enough. They all went above and beyond to fulfill our order for a shade structure and several planters for the Botanic Gardens in the Southern Highlands, and they truly made an effort to understand the needs we had as a botanic garden that was still in its early stages of development. Vegetable Production

High-Quality Shade Structures:

All their products are of the highest quality and were delivered in easy-to-understand assembly kits. Our team of volunteers demonstrated almost immediately that their instructions for assembling shade structures and planters were indeed easy to follow. C-Mac Industries definitely excel in all fields.

— Charlotte Webb (of the Botanic Gardens in the Southern Highlands in Bowral, NSW 2576)

My C-Mac shade structure has made caring for the various orchid varieties in my collection much easier. The planters I ordered from them have good space and

 height, and the various parts of the shade structure fit well together, making the finished structure feel complete and sturdy.

— Barbara Simcock (Orchid Enthusiast, Kurrajong)

(Barbara is the proud owner of a newly assembled 2.4 x 4.8-meter shade structure, as well as three rows of spring planters located in her backyard)

* Note: Spring planters are designed to fit the spring shade structure space and to stand on their own (i.e., without being attached to the shade structure)

Alternatives for Large-Sized Shade Structures:

3 rows of spring planters covered by a tarp or shade cloth:

Retractable front panel

Industrial closures included

Fabric ties to prevent the front panel from falling

Refer to the spring planter price list for a detailed list of available measurements

Please fill out the following form to let us know your questions or comments:
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