How to provide shade for your misting bed
Once your misting or propagation beds are made you may decide you want a way to provide shade for your cuttings while they are being rooted. An easy way to do this is by using pipe clips and a few lengths of electrical plastic conduit. This is the grey PVC pipe that electricians use when running electrical wires outside or underground. It is much more flexible than the white PVC pipe that is used for plumbing and will hold up much longer when exposed to the sun’s UV rays.
List of materials (quantities not given. please read on to determine the quantity you will need)
- 1″ galvanized pipe clips
- 3/4″ grey electrical conduit (PVC)
- 1 1/2″ galvanized screws
- large binder clips
This method uses the half-round galvanized pipe clamps that can be found in the electrical section of a building supply store. You will want to purchase 1’ clamps. To figure out how many clamps to purchase, simply take the number of PVC pipes you will need and double it. If you will have 5 lengths of pipe, you will need 10 clips. Read on to figure how many lengths of electrical conduit you will need:
Next, you need to figure how many ¾” grey electrical conduit pipes to purchase. You will be using 10’ long pieces, so I is advise purchasing them this way to eliminate cutting the pipes to length. You will be making a hoop every 2’, so to figure how many lengths of pipe you will need, simply take the length of your bed in feet and divide it in half, then add 1. An 8 foot long bed will need 5 lengths of pipe (8/2=4+1=5), and a 10’ long bed will require 6 (10/2=5+1=6).
The first thing you need to do is remove the larger “bell” end from the PVC pipe. Use a hand saw to cut just the bell off. Next, on the inside of the misting bed, screw a pipe clip in each corner. Remember, you will be attaching the clips on the inside of the LONG sides. Attach them about 1” below the top of the board and with the opening facing up. You will be sliding the PVC pipe down into them, so be sure they are facing the right direction.
Make a mark every 2’ on the side of your bed and attach the remaining clips 1″ below the top edge. See picture:
Measure 3” from each end of the PVC pipe and mark a line around the pipe. Now make another line at 2”. Be sure to do both ends of the pipe. Drill a 1/8” hole on the 2” mark on one end of the pipe. Do not drill the other end yet. Slide the end of the pipe with the drilled hole down into the clip and line up your 3” mark with the top of the clip. Now drive a screw through the 1/8” hole and into the side of the bed. Repeat this for the remaining pipes. See picture for layout of the pipe:
Now that you have a bunch of PVC pipes sticking up in the air, it is now time to bend them over and place them into the remaining clips. Start on one end and bend the pipe over, insert it into the clip, and line up the 3″ mark with the top of the clip. Drill the 1/8 hole through the pipe to be able to hold it with a screw. Once the hole is drilled, be sure the 3″ mark is lined up with the top of the clip and screw the pipe to the side of the bed. Repeat with the remaining pieces of pipe.
At this point you should now have something that resembles a small hoop house. The hoops will be a bit wobbly at this point and if you desire, you can drill more holes and add more screws or add bracing in a few locations to help make them more rigid, but it really is not necessary because the shade cloth is very light. Lay the cloth over the hoops and align it so it will provide the maximum amount of shade at the hottest part of the day. Take the large binder clips and fasten the cloth to the hoops.