5 Different Ways To Create Shade Without Trees

photo of many umbrellas

Feeling the warm sunlight on your skin can be a delightful experience, but during the hot days of summer, it’s more like a curse than a blessing. The best way to create shade in your backyard is probably by planting trees. Whether it be HOA requirements, personal or environmental issues, not everyone can enjoy them. But, there are a few other ways we can create some shade for our backyards.

Some different ways of creating shade with no trees include the following methods: 

  1. Use umbrellas to create stylish shade.
  2. Set up shade sails in your backyard.
  3. Build gazebos to create an inviting outdoor space.
  4. Pavilions for shelter and shade.
  5. Create privacy with patio curtains.

Read the rest of this article to know more about shades and different ways to create them. We’ll introduce some options to use in your backyard, then show you the benefits of creating shade.

1. Use Umbrellas To Create Stylish Shade

photo of umbrella

Shade umbrellas are one of the most popular choices for creating shades, as they come in different colors, sizes and are usually water and UV-resistant.

While some models are stable, others are portable, letting you change their position or close and stow them away. There are even wall-mount models for small places like balconies.  

Regarding color, a study has shown that umbrellas made from dark or even black material can protect you better. According to this study, black umbrellas can prevent at least 90% of the sun’s harmful rays.

2. Set Up Shade Sails In Your Backyard

photo of shade sails

While shade sails are stunning in style, they’re also great for sun and heat protection. 

They’re usually installed by using three to four posts with different heights. Like umbrellas, shade sails come in different colors and sizes. While some are used alone, others are used as a group and in a layered manner.

In addition to patios, gardens, or backyards, they’re great for playgrounds and even protecting your vehicles. Sails are relatively cheap and easily installed. 

3. Build Gazebos To Create an Inviting Outdoor Space

photo of gazebo

Gazebos are elegant stand-alone structures that can multiply your outdoor area’s beauty. They usually come in square, hexagonal, or circular shapes and are supported by strong beams. 

They have a built-in floor and solid roof, which means that they can be used even after a rainfall. 

Gazebos often have railings or curtains around them that create an enclosed, more private environment. Since gazebos are sturdy structures, they can also protect you from different elements other than the sun, like snow and rain.

Related: 4 Must-Have Gazebo Features To Combat The Rain, Wind & Snow

4. Pavilions For Shelter and Shade

photo of large pavillion

Pavilions are roofed structures like gazebos, but entirely open-air and not stand-alone structures. People usually install these to shelter an outdoor area like a patio or BBQ area.

They’re as stylish as gazebos but can provide ample shade and hold more people. Pavillions are best suited for very large backyards, or for people who entertain large groups of people.

5. Create Privacy With Patio Curtains

photo of outdoor curtains

Another great option for creating shades with no trees is using outdoor curtains. They’re cheap and easy to install and also bring more privacy to you.

In addition to the shade provision, outdoor curtains are decorative and add elegance to your desired area. They come in various colors and shapes and fabrics that can withstand sun rays, rain, and wind.

You can install them on preexisting structures like a balcony, patio, deck, or pergola.

How To Create Shade Without Trees and Without Money

Spending time outdoors with your family and guests can leave lovely memories behind, especially during sunny days. However, you must protect your beloved ones from hot and damaging sun rays by providing plenty of shade. 

If you don’t have trees or can’t plant some, there’s no need to worry. Even with no money, temporary shade is very doable. You can grab some common household items and use the methods below.

Here’s how to create shade with no money:

  1. Find a few large bedsheets, 4 poles, some rope, clips, and a large hammer.
  2. Place the poles in the desired shape in your yard, then use the hammer to drive them in the ground. Most people prefer a square shape, but you use the shape you like.
  3. Tie the rope around the poles and secure them with clips or nails.
  4. Hang the sheets over the ropes and secure them with clips.

Now that you’ve set this up, you can use it like any other idea on the above list, and without spending any extra money!

The Extra Benefits Of Shade

Let’s get sciency! Shade is created by the lack of light in a place. And it appears when an object obstructs the light. In many cases, you won’t need a complete lack of light to have a shade, and a significant reduction in it can do the job. Besides temperature relief, shade has some other benefits as well.

Fun Fact: Staying in the shade may make you feel 10 to 15 degrees cooler, but the fact is there’s no actual difference between the shade and sun temperature. You feel shade cooler because the solar radiation can’t reach you in the shade.

Shade is primarily good for protecting you from the sun. Although sunlight is an invaluable source of energy and helps with vitamin D production, its harmful UV rays can damage your skin and even cause cancer. And a shade prevents that. It also lets you enjoy the outdoors for a longer time.

But besides this apparent health benefit, shade provides you with other advantages. Let’s now discuss them.

Shades Over Grass 

photo of brown grass

Many people enjoy stepping on a grassy floor in their backyard or roof garden. But various kinds of grass come with different light needs.

Most grass species need sunlight for about six hours a day, which can be filtered sunlight. 

However, sometimes harsh sunlight can damage your grass, especially during hot summers and dry periods. This makes their blades brown and dry, looking like bald patches on your lawn.

Protecting the grass with shades during hot hours of the day can help with this problem.

However, you only need to provide partial shade. That’s because even shade-tolerant grasses need some sort of sunlight. And their leaves and root system will be weaker and more vulnerable to diseases without it.

For all my artificial grass owners, shade also reduces the temperature of the grass, which can be a little hotter than natural grass. This makes it more comfortable for bare feet and/or bare paws.

Related: 5 Tips From A Pro To Cool Down Your Hot Artificial Grass

Shades Over the Pool 

photo of umbrellas by pool

One of the most popular hobbies of people during hot days is swimming and playing in pools. However, the direct sunlight hitting their heads from above can be torture. 

Besides, more areas of the body are exposed to the sun’s UV rays.

Having a shade over the pool can help them get rid of the annoying sun rays and be safe, and decreases the temperature of pool water to make it more convenient. Shades also prevent the pool and its surrounding structure from damage.


Having some shade in your outdoor area can turn it into a small haven on hot summer days, but trees aren’t the only option for creating a shaded area. You can still install umbrellas, shade sails, gazebos, or patio curtains to shelter from the sun and other harsh elements and enjoy a lovely day outdoors.

Michael Carpenter

Hi, I'm Mike. I grew up in North Carolina having a blast on trampolines, go-karts, and just sitting on the porch with my friends. I have since moved to Las Vegas with my wife, 2 children, and 3 dogs. When I'm not chasing the kids around the house, I am probably chasing them around the backyard!

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