Hey everyone! I am a newbe...both to gardening and to this forum. This year I was inspired to grow me some tomatoes in pots. I went to Low's and purchased some large green plastic pots, some potting soil, and two baby Big Boy tomatoe plants. A week or so later after starting those, I purchased yet another variety of tomatoe called "Arkansas Traveler" from a local organic/hippy grocery store All three tomatoes seem to be doing quite well...especially the organic one. I've already harvested several ripe and tasty tomatoes from the vines. One thing I noticed however was how fast the soil in the pots would dry out. If I forget to water them just one day it won't take long for the entire plant to become all wilted....and even the surface of some of the tomatoes looking like the surface of a raisin. I noticed that the pots would get fairly hot during the day...with the soil in the pot reading over 110 degrees with my nerdy digital probe thermometer. In my mind this is certainly not the same conditions a tomatoe would experience if planted directly in the ground.
So in come the camping space blanket to the rescue. I have covered two pots with silver mylar reflective space blanket material....wrapped around and held in place with a large rubber band. This reflects the heat of the sun and keeps the soil in the pot MUCH cooler on a hot day. It hasn't been long enough yet to determine if this will effect the growing in a positive way...though certainly I won't have to water as often...as the pot is no longer baking itself dry. So far the temperature difference between the two pots I have covered and the one I have yet to cover are significant to the touch. I will measure the difference with my thermometer tomarrow.
I am posting this just out of personal interest. Do you think the temperature of the roots and of the soil in a pot effect the growth of a tomatoe in one way or another? Flatfoot.[/img]