June 18, 2023 2 min read

How To Choose The Right Shade Percentage for Your DIY Sunshade

DIY garden sunshade made with emt conduit and maker pipe connectors

Summer is here, and with it, the need to protect your garden and plants from the scorching sun.Using EMT Conduit and our clamp connectors, you can construct durable and efficient structures and sunshades.

After a support structure is made, a common question we encounter is, "what percentage shade cloth should I choose?". Whether you're growing sensitive plants or simply creating a comfortable outdoor space, a sunshade is a vital addition to your garden. This guide will help you understand how to choose the right shade percentage for your finished support structure.

Why Sunshade?

Rose garden with a custom shade structure blocking the sun

Sunshades offer several benefits to your garden and outdoor spaces. They protect your plants from the harsh effects of intense sunlight, reduce water evaporation, and can help create a more comfortable and cooler environment. By building a sunshade with EMT Conduit and our DIY building connectors, you can create a sturdy structure designed to withstand various weather conditions.

Understanding Shade Percentage

Sun shining through a mesh sunshade

When choosing the right shade percentage for sunshades, it's important to understand what shade percentage means. It refers to the amount of light a shade cloth blocks. The higher the shade percentage, the less sunlight passes through. Understanding shade percentage is crucial to providing the right growing conditions for your plants or achieving the desired level of comfort for your outdoor spaces.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Shade Percentage

Selecting the right shade percentage depends on several factors. This includes the type of plants you're growing, the geographical location of your garden, the temperature and climate, the purpose of the shade, and the orientation of your garden.

Shade Percentage Guide

Here's a simple guide to help you in choosing the right shade percentage for your sunshade:

  • 30-50% Shade: Ideal for vegetables and flowers that require a lot of sunlight.
  • 50-70% Shade: Perfect for plants that require partial shade, like certain types of herbs and greens.
  • 70-90% Shade: Best for very sensitive plants or areas where people may be sitting and require protection from the sun.

Install Shade Material On Your Frame

Zip ties securing a sunshade to a conduit frame

Once you've chosen the right shade percentage, it's time to install your shade cloth onto your EMT Conduit structure. We have a written and video guide on the best methods for this, but a few common solutions are zip ties, cover clips, and ball bungees.


Freestanding sunshade support structure made with EMT Conduit

Protecting your garden with a sunshade is a crucial task during the hot summer months. By considering the type of plants, location, climate, purpose, and garden orientation, you can select the best shade percentage for your needs.Ready to build your perfect sunshade? Explore our range of EMT Conduit Connectors today to get started. For more information or personalized advice, don't hesitate to reach out to our team.