Difference between Shade House and Green House

Confused? Learn the difference between shade house and green house!

I am sure if you are into gardening, you are aware of the fact that a shade house is used to protect your plants from extreme weather conditions and provide your plants with shade as the name suggests. However, despite having the basic idea about a shade house, confusion creeps in sometimes owing to the various names available on the internet for this shade construction. For instance, you may have come across terms like green house, hot houses, and glass house to name a few which may have caused this confusion in your mind. This article aims to eliminate such confusion by explaining the difference between a shade house and a green house. Glass houses and houses are categorized under green house, so the real difference exists only between shade house and green house.

Understanding the difference between the terms

Shade house as the name suggests is used to protect your plants from excessive light, heat, or dryness. A shade house resembles a green house in its look. A typical shade house usually has a shade cloth over it. There are different types of shade cloth which are available in various colors and percentages to protect your plants from the sun, frost and so on. Basically, it provides shelter from external elements and thereby helps the shade loving plants to thrive inside and grow well. The structure of a shade house is usually made out of a metal frame which can support the shade cloth or the shade netting. In warmer climates, shade houses are quite useful if you wish to grow a range of plants that grow well in cool regions but are unable to beat the extreme and direct rays of the sun. In cooler regions, shade houses can also be heated during winters to prevent your plants from frost damage.

Shade house
The shade house is a good option as it helps to protect your plants from heat and excessive sunlight.

A shade house also provides protection to your plants from hail, pests, and wind apart from the sun and the frost in winter. It also helps to improve the growth of your new plants and assists you to grow tropical plants in relatively cooler climates. It helps to increase the yield and the quality of your plants. It also enables you to use your space wisely, since you can have multi-layer/multi-tier shelves in your shade house. It also enables you to grow fruits and vegetables out of season and is cost effective as well.

A green house, on the other hand, is quite opposite to a shade house. It is a structure made with a plastic or glass roof and has often plastic or glass walls as well. The roof and the walls of a green house allow sunlight to penetrate it and heat it up with the incoming solar radiation emanating from the sun. The heat warms the soil and the plant faster and it also protects your plants from the rain, wind, and animals.

A glass house is another form of green house. Previously, glass was the only material that was considered to be suitable for this purpose, and thus these two were considered to be synonymous. A hot house is another variety of green house which is constructed for plants that need an even and relatively warm temperature to thrive.

Shade nursery
In addition to the heat the shade house also protects your plants from the plagues of strong winds and hail.

Understanding the purpose of having a shade house/green house

It is important that you understand your requirement first, so that you know if you require a shade house or a green house.

  1. Raising Seedlings

You will observe that in commercial nurseries, the different stages of plant growth are accommodated accordingly in different types of structures. The plants start their journey from within a glass house and then they are shifted to shaded structures and eventually to a stand out area in the nursery under direct sun for hardening off.

You can use a green house to raise your seedlings and then later shift them to a shade house for their secondary stage of growth. When managed properly, a shade house itself can help to meet most of the needs of your plant growth if you have a sufficient supply of water rendered either as a fine mist or spray. The advantage with shade houses is that you can roll up the sides for the final stage of hardening off your plants by exposing them to direct sunlight.

Shade net
Another advantage of shade houses is that they can be rolled up on the sides so that the plants have a direct exposure to the sun.
  1. Growing plants that love shade

You can opt for a shade house if you plan to grow plants that love shade such as ferns, orchids, spinach, capsicum, arugula, radicchio, Swiss chard, bush beans, continental cucumbers, tomatoes, climbing beans, strawberries, butternut etc. The shade cloth on the roof of a shade house and the walls helps to generate a cool breeze which prevents the leaves of your plants from the scorching heat of the sun. It also helps the soil to retain its moisture. A green house, on the other hand is not a suitable option if you wish to grow shade loving plants during summer. Since the temperature in the green house tends to be hotter during summers, it will end up damaging your plants.

Shade net for farm
The shade house is used for plants that do not need sunlight such as cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes and spinach.
  1. Providing protection to your plants

Both shade houses and green houses can protect your plants from birds and pets which may damage your plants. Both these houses can also provide protection to your plants from frost in winters. However, a shade house works relatively better if you stay in an extreme climate. It also protects your frost/cold sensitive plants better during winters.

If you have a good understanding of the difference between these types of houses, it will help you carry out your research better, when you plant to buy a shade structure for your plants that need shade. Learning these differences will help you to save time in searching for something which won’t work for your and may even harm the growth and health of your plants. The bottom line is that plants that need shade need to be taken care of well in a quality shade house structure. I hope this article has clarified the doubts in your mind and you can now carry on with your research confidently.

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