Your greenhouse cover is the only thing standing between the Sun and your plants.
A good greenhouse cover is the most effective and efficient use of your spending budget when considering upgrading your structure. Your greenhouse cover is the only thing standing between the Sun and your plants. It is the equivalent of the hood for a grow light. Hoods are designed to reflect and spread a bulb’s light as evenly as possible over a crop. Your greenhouse cover is the membrane that is used to diffuse and filter Sunlight so that it may shine evenly and deep into the canopy. Though the market is opening up to new styles of covers historically there are two to choose from, films and fabrics.
A poly film is a material like Visqueen that comes on a roll, is easy to puncture and is very inexpensive. Films tend to yellow and deteriorate very quickly and contribute to the increasingly large piles at your local landfill each season. When the Sun passes through a film its rays are concentrated into a smaller area similar to what a magnifying glass will do. This creates hot spots and can cause a decreased immunity in the plant as well as increase the potential for shock, pests and diseases. A poly-weave fabric is a series of polyethylene strands that have been weaved together to make one solid watertight sheet.
FFG’s Top Tier poly-weave greenhouse covers come standard with all of our structures and are made in Europe by a textile company that has been in business for over 125 years. They were engineered to withstand hailstorms and have 85% light transmission, 100% diffusion, are UV stabilized, eliminating harmful UVB, and have an anti-fog/condensation coating. Light diffused material separates light and allows it to penetrate deeper into the canopy. The diffusion and UV stabilizing properties will keep the temperatures on the leaf surface and root zone cooler than the ambient temperature of the greenhouse. This translates to greater photosynthetic abilities in the heat of the day when plants grown under full sun or films are transpiring water in an effort to cool them selves. With less transpiration occurring there is less humidity and a reduced need for water and nutrients further increasing the efficacy of a good cover.
This same science of material composition is true for blackout covers.Films may not cost a lot of money but they break down quickly and wind up clogging up the landfills. Many films do not completely black
out your growing environment leaving concerns of the effects of light pollution to your plants. Our Top Tier blackout material is a white/black poly-weave fabric that is also European made. It is lightweight and very pliable allowing it to compact down nicely making it especially useful if being used inside a greenhouse. For larger widths our material is sewn together leaving tiny pinholes of light at the seams. We have tested the material and it still comes in at zero lumens of light meaning it has no effect on the plants. We have been selling this material for the past 6 years and our customers love it.
In 2006 FFG became the first company to offer a Triple Layer Breathable Blackout fabric and it continues to be the top choice for farmers looking to allow a passive level of heat and humidity reduction
Our Standard blackout material is a reinforced film. Though it will last many years due to the reinforcement designed into the material it is a bit more cumbersome because of it’s increased weight and thickness causing it to compact down in a more bulky manner. For some growers exact dimensions might be the the deciding factor and though the Top Tier materials do not commonly come in custom dimensions the Standard varieties do. In 2006 FFG became the first company to offer a Triple Layer Breathable Blackout fabric and it continues to be the top choice for farmers looking to allow a passive level of heat and humidity reduction. Our Breathable fabric comes standard black/white though custom orders of white/white are available which may incur a longer leadtime for fabrication.
In an effort to cut back on heat build up FFG offers a white ground cloth for keeping down weed growth or simply for keeping a tidy floor in your structure. Our shade cloth comes in white as well and is available in shading from 30%-60%.