View Full Version : Solar shade cloth substitute questions
June 5th, 2006, 03:36 PM
While driving back from work today, I noticed two more places in my little community (don't know the people & both places fenced & posted) who had solar shade cloth or substitutes, one apparently for small animal pen with dark/black tarp draped over roof and two sides, one apparently for tall corn with light brown fabric over arbor type wood New Mexico style, vegas roof and sides.
Never have gotten shade cloth yet due to price per running foot locally. Haven't seen burlap sacks in ages; my 20 lb. rice bags are white polyester or other synthetic. What would be good substitutes in arid little midhigh (4300') desert valley for shade cloth, and what color(s)? Also, if I were to find a good substitute, if I go to a hardware store like True Value or Loew's, what sort of clothespin like clamps do I ask for? Or should I just get tarp(s) and tie-down rope? One dog pen, one fowl pen, and lots of garden plots that would benefit from midafternoon shade in July Aug. and Sept. here....Got enough white PVC pipe to do frames for plots, and can fill in as needed with dry tree branches. Stuff has to stand up to afternoon wind; I don't mind assembling and disassembling it each year.
Thanks for suggestions or relaying experience of your own.
June 5th, 2006, 08:39 PM
I don't know if this helps, but I work for a company that builds mobile cement mixers. So what, right? Well...every now and again we get new truck chasses (sp.?) with burlap coffee of cocoa bean bags for mudflaps. Check around, there may be a truck (Mack, Sterling, Pete, etc.) dealer or manufacturer who can set you up. Here's hoping!
June 5th, 2006, 09:58 PM
TAshak, I use the synthetic feed bags for the dog kennel and my chicken tractor runs.
But somewhere, just recently, I saw mention of using cheesecloth I believe, in the garden, since it does some light through.
June 5th, 2006, 11:14 PM
Thanks, both of you.
So I can use my synthetic 20 lb. rice bags (they are white)?
And there is a coffee roasting plant, new to the area, about 50 miles from me--maybe I could call them and ask about empty coffee bean bags? (It's about 20 miles from a city I go to once a month or so in the summer, so maybe I could coordinate the errand trips.)
June 5th, 2006, 11:33 PM
hi redbrick iam italian you think some of those cement mixers can fall off the truck :D :p :) :rolleyes: lol bodabengbodaboom
June 6th, 2006, 06:55 PM
If they do, I'm in trouble! :eek: Ya gotta realize, one mixer takes up the entire truck! It's just like a barrel type cement truck, but it mixes the concrete on site, instead of at the batch plant. Come to think of it, there are more than a few of our trucks in the City. Yeah, I know, the City is "freakin' huge", so good luck spotting one! :rolleyes: Then again, they don't look like anything else, so if you see one you'll know it. They're called "Zim-mixers".
June 6th, 2006, 09:14 PM
Tashak, Instead of spending money on new bags, do you know any farmers who would pass along some used ones? Someone who buys 6 or so bags of feed a week would be good, because you'd be getting clean bags instead of ones that have been sitting around collecting dust and birdpoop or worse. Believe me..it doesn't take long to amass a collection when you grain your livestock.
It's up to you of course. If you prefer to purchase unused ones, then that's what you should do.
It was just a thought.
June 6th, 2006, 09:18 PM
Check fabric stores in their clearance aisles. The do sell burlap in rolls by the yard.....sometimes they may clearance theses for a buck a yard....just a thought.
June 7th, 2006, 12:19 AM
Bluelaced, there are some horse people and some goat people near here, but basically small numbers of animals per person. The three feed stores in the immediate area all seem to have those sturdy kraft paper bulk feed bags (as does the Walton Feed bulk human food bags that I order from every 12-18-or 24 months). Good idea for maybe 60 miles from here, but not closer. The closest larger scale sheep raisers have decreased herd size since they sold some of the land for housing development, an increasing trend in the NW NV area--lots of inmigrants from other states in the last 8-10 years who all want to have NEW house, and have the $ from sale of their old house in more expensive state to do so. Lots of the older farmers/ranchers with acreage to sell have been doing so, and can't say I really blame them.But we do regret the loss of open space, and worry about the city-habit demand for water, as there just isn't that much here. Selling water rights is even more profitable than selling what used to be midhigh desert open range ranch land--the feds own the bulk of the land acreage in NV, so that increases competition for privately held land in the areas of population growth in the NW Hwy. 50 and Hwy. 80 corridors, and in far S metropolis of the state.
Chad, I'll check the fabric store c. 30 miles from here when in that city next month--worth a try.
My idea re the coffee processor in Minden area was maybe the bulk coffee beans for roasting came in burlap bags--still have to recall the company name (it just came to the area in the last year).
June 8th, 2006, 10:56 PM
hi i found a role of thick black plastic yuo can not tear i think its what they use when biulding retaining wall or premade rocks for beds to keep out the soil. is that what tashak is talking about when i found it i looked up at the sky and said thanks mom :) oh i use it for my earthboxes to cover them it works great now i have to put chickenwire on the earthboxes because i seen a squirrel anyone for squirrel stew yummy :p
June 9th, 2006, 09:42 PM
I use fabric a lot in my garden. Nylon net, 58 cents a yard, 60" wide makes a great cover for my blueberries. Some of the "cheap" fabric makes a good shade cloth. We use Bamboo to make frames and plain old cloths pins to hold the fabric in place. The garden somestimes looks like tent city.
June 11th, 2006, 08:43 AM
We go garage saleing EVERY weekend ... (where we live is like "garage sale heaven"). There are often people selling off old pieces of polyester cloth they musta bought 'bout 20 years ago, in different colors & textures but I just spread a nice 'bout 3-yard piece across my PVC dome.
If you're interested in making a PVC dome, here's a nice link ... you can make it ANY size, instead of using TWO pieces of 10' PVC, use THREE or FOUR per "side" and UP the diameter of the PVC. I used three 10' pieces of PVC per "side," and my "dome" ended up ABOUT 25' wide. And you don't have to make it as TALL as I made mine ... by spreading out the stakes you could make it shorter and wider. (I'm nearly 6' and so mine is about 7' tall.)
Okay ... I'm gonna go take a pic of my po' old hillbilly-lookin' DOME & attach it here ... btw ... hit your "back" button after viewing pic ... otherwise if you click the "x" to close the window, you are outta here (& I don' think you wanna be). :p
June 11th, 2006, 08:58 AM
Grrooovy :D But you need to find some material with big psychedelic flowers on it. That would be more into gardening mode than stripes, dontchathink? ;)
Tasty, can I ask what the squares are on the ground beside the garden dome? Where the potted plants are? Are you trying to kill off an area to extend your garden bed?
June 11th, 2006, 09:57 AM
LOL!!! hmmm ... beside the dome ... yeah, I'm going for BIGGER is BETTER!! Found a bunch of rubber mats this weekend at a GARAGE SALE! So since we BOUGHT 'EM ... I thought I might as well USE 'em ... in the present absence of MORE CARDBOARD ... whatever will cover up & kill grass is good!
Yeah, I know ... it would LOOK BETTER if I used the genuine "shade cloth" "they" sell ... in ummmm... SOLID black ... or green ... it brings up that HUGE EXISTENTIAL QUESTION "what is "ME?" ... do I have to answer ... "CHEAP! that's me!!" Well ... NO ... it's more like ... REFUSING TO GIVE IN TO SALESMANSHIP(?) re-use is always better(?) :rolleyes:
June 11th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Reuse and recycle Works!! And yeah, those mats would do a great job of smothering the grass I would say. Good Job Tasty
June 11th, 2006, 11:00 AM
I guess domes always bring up memories of hippy days ... but they ARE very strong structures, which is why Buckminster Fuller thought they would be the "form of the future," as I recall ... I've been thinking 'bout that dome ... reading up on ferrocement ... if you had a LOT of time on your hands ... and some good gloves ... you could take chicken wire, wrap it around the PVC pipes, make up a nice batch of cement and press it into the chicken wire ... you would have a very super strong structure made of a super strong material (ferrocement) ...
June 11th, 2006, 07:22 PM
Husband works in the concrete industry making custom structures..Ya know what that means, dontcha? I don't stand a chance of having anything remotely related to concrete built around home. Or I would have a beautiful concrete hand textured wall around the herb garden like the one he points out to me at an antique shop enroute to the city when we venture in once a year, :p
June 11th, 2006, 08:46 PM
Yep, "Every child in town has new shoes. 'cept the cobbler's son"!
June 14th, 2006, 10:40 AM
bluelacedredhead, I've been reading ANOTHER book called Serious Straw Bale. Authors seem to believe "clay plasters" and "earth plaster" and "lime plaster" are better'n cement/ferrocement for covering hay bales when making hay bale buildings 'cause the above allow water vapor to escape faster & easier than cement. Know where I'm goin' to? MAYBE ... your hubby might get interested in making some sort of hay bale structure with one of those OTHER type plasters (??) close enough but different enough from cement to be interesting :) ...
Trouble with ferrocement is it is AWRF'LLY strong ... if you changed your mind and wanted to get rid of something made of it, you'd have quite a job on your hands.
June 14th, 2006, 09:51 PM
Thanks for thinking of me Tasty.
But I think as far as structures here at home is concerned, you've (pardonthepun) hit the nail on the head. We've several times, built something and used it for a year or two, then tore it down to rebuild. So good ole traditional lumber and cordless drill is more logical here on the homestead.
But I do like the idea of a greenhouse that was built using plastic bottles filled with water as a cheap way to insulate walls and then mortared over. It was featured in ME News several years ago. And if I'm not mistaken, the article is still in their archives? If you've never seen it, you should go take a look.
June 19th, 2006, 07:19 AM
Might try ecycle or freecycle or fleacycle for the bags or something like them.
June 20th, 2006, 10:00 AM
Bluelaced, what is ME News??
That greenhouse of plastic bottles filled with water mortared over idea sounds like one your hubby oughtta (well, "might could") take on!! But what a MESS to get rid of if you change your mind, or quit in the middle of the project ...
June 20th, 2006, 03:25 PM
Tasty, here's the link
June 25th, 2006, 09:01 PM
Bluelaced, upon clicking on the link, I get the message "Service Unavailable." :eek:
June 25th, 2006, 09:06 PM
Tasty, I can't even get into the MotherEarthNews website tonight? Maybe try again another day
June 28th, 2006, 09:42 AM
Bluelaced, that is a fantastic link, thanks!
Wow. Those people believed in their idea and DID it. Reminds me of Laura in By the Shores of Silver Lake, (which I'm reading now), watching the men building the railroad across the prairie ... (by horse cart) ... (tremendous amount of work ... she's watching the teams filling in the low spots, cutting through the high spots) ...
... Laura let her sunbonnet slip down her back so that she could feel the wind on her face and see the whole great prairie.
There was no railroad there now, but someday the long steel tracks would lie level on the fills and through the cuts, and trains would come roaring, steaming and smoking with speed. The tracks and the trains were not there now, but Laura could see them almost as if they were there.
Suddenly she asked, "Pa, was that what made the very first railroad?"
"What are you talking about?" Pa asked.
"Are there railroads because people think of them first when they aren't there?"
Pa thought a minute. "That's right," he said. "Yes, that's what makes things happen, people think of them first. If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it's pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting."
(I find I'm really good at the THINKING OF THEM part ... but having the faith to go ahead, and actually DOING it are ALSO involved!)
End result is ... enjoying the FRUITS of their labors! (Hey, I picked a bunch of green peppers yesterday! :D ) 'Twould be NICE to pick a bunch, say, around February :) ).
June 28th, 2006, 04:21 PM
I just bought some tan colored shade cloth, I believe it measures 8' x 25'. I got it at Home Depot and it was WAY cheaper than the exact same kind in black or green. They had it on sale cause nobody was buying it :)
You might check Home Depot's online catalogue, or maybe check the websites of other stores like that. Not sure how much square footage you need to cover....
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