manomes
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:48 pm
Location: Southern California

Should I shade my plants?

Ok, I'm going to bombard you guys with questions because I have no idea what I'm doing - appologizing in advance! Whatever success I've had with tomatoes (hit and miss-mostly miss) has been out of luck.

I'm in So. California high desert area and it's getting really hot in the afternoons - 95+. I know from reading a bit that sustained high heat will prevent new growth (something to do with pollination) and will sunburn small fruit. I lost a lot of tomato plants in past years because of this without knowing why.

Do any of you that live in similar climate have tips on how to shade plants but still let enough light in? I have to grow them in pots on my condo patio, so I can't put up elaborate systems. Thanks for any help!

User avatar
luvthesnapper
Senior Member
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 9:37 pm
Location: Delaware

We have a heat wave coming also. I'm just going to tape some white trash bags to the stakes that are holding my tomatoes, just to get the direct sun off of them for the next couple of days. It's supposed to be 100, and humid, for the next two days.

This is just temporary, until I can find some shade cloth somewhere. As far as permanent, or a more daily use, you could look for shade cloth. They sell it in different densities. For example, you could buy it at 70% shade, or 50% shade.

manomes
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:48 pm
Location: Southern California

Thanks Luv -- I'll try the white trash bags. I looked for shading solutions at the local home improvement store but all they had was heavy woven fabric in huge rolls. I don't think my neighbors would appreciate draping this stuff all over the place just to protect my tomato plants haha.

User avatar
luvthesnapper
Senior Member
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 9:37 pm
Location: Delaware

Yea, the whole neighbor thing. That's one of the reasons I moved to where I am now. My neighbors could care less about what I do. Just don't burn the block down, and you're ok here.

Lowe's has nothing here either. I'll check things out online. I've never bought anything to shade plants, but I think my tomatoes suffered because of it last year.

manomes
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:48 pm
Location: Southern California

Yes, I miss my big back yard where no one cared. I've never been anything close to a great vegetable gardener, but had fun with it anyway. Since moving to a condo, I've had to scale back to a few tomato and pepper plants in pots.

Good luck with your shading fabric! Let me know what you find.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

https://www.burpee.com/gardening-supplies/frost-protection/?cid=ppc

look for floating row cover. This site has it listed under frost protection, but it also filters harsh sun.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

I aggree with some shade. I was just talking about this on a tomato forum a few minutes ago. I have noticed in the past years that my tomatoes that are in full sun meaning 6-8 (maybe a few more) hours do better than my plants in actual full sun menaing sunrise to sunset which might be 14-16 hours.

mattie g
Green Thumb
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

I don't bother with it. My plants don't get so much sun (6-8 hours)that providing cover will make that much difference.

manomes
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:48 pm
Location: Southern California

So I haven't been able to find a shading system that I can use on my patio. I can't put up the big webbed sheets -- the homeowners association here is very picky about these things. So, I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about something very light weight I could drape over my plants that would shade them but still let light in. ?? It's getting up into the high 80's and will be in the 90's before the end of the week. I made the mistake of planting late in the season.

Edited to say -- I remember my mother draping old white t-shirts over her plants but I don't know how or if it helped. She lived in Riverside, CA where it got extremely hot in the summers. Wish I would have asked her.

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Bridal tulle (pronounced "tool"), also referred to as "net." It's sold by the yard at Joann's and other fabric stores. It usually comes in different colors, too, so you can try for a more camouflaged effect--maybe green or black? Something to filter the sunlight hitting the plants.

Perhaps put poles in the four outermost containers and drape the tulle over them to protect the plants. Secure it to the poles with huge binder clips or, if the poles are the simple bamboo uprights, maybe large clothespins.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

manomes
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:48 pm
Location: Southern California

Thanks Cynthia! Never even thought about checking out the fabric store. Your suggestion sounds like a good one :)

suncitylinda
Full Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:54 pm
Location: 9A SoCal Inland

I live in Riverside County, SoCal and it has been mid ninetys this week, will get hotter before it gets cooler. I go to the local thrift stores and pick up white sheets for a dollar or two. I cut them and tie them onto the stakes, or drape them over the cages and secure with clothes pins. My goal is never to enclose the plants but simply to block the south and or top side sun. This is especially important now as some of the tomatoes are starting to ripen and I have lost a lot of leaf cover due to early blight.

Return to “TOMATO FORUM”