Protecting tomato leaves.

Because of the heatwave we're experiencing I've draped light fleece over the tops of the plants on canes to stop them wilting.  Does the less direct sunshine slow the growth rate down?
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  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619
    Yes.  It prevents photosynthesis which requires the use of water, so in theory less photosynthesis, less water consumed.
  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 165
    Thanks BobFlannigon.  So I guess I should only drape the fleece over on the hottest of days and not leave them up permanently.
  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619
    I can't say I've ever done it but it certainly sounds reasonable, I couldn't comment on the potential impact to the fruit (could slow growth). 

    I favour using a drip feeder (drill 2-3 small holes in a bottle lid, and push it upside done into the soil).  Usually drips out over 12 hours or so.
  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 165
    That sounds good but with 9 pots and another 23 tomato plants on the greenhouse floor I might as well slosh buckets and use watering cans.  I guess if I wasn't on hand twice a day then I'd certainly use your method. I rang PROGROW anyway to see if they had proper slow delivery bottles for this but all their products are for sophisticated watering systems with tanks and tubes.  Very expensive and obviously for professional set ups. 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 4,762
    I don't think the fleece will have a detrimental effect on your plants.
    On a cloudless day we'll get 100% light. Even on the cloudiest day, we'll still get 85% of the light.
    The blinds on my g/h have a similar mesh to fleece and my toms are doing very well.
    The key with toms is a regular watering/feeding cycle. So I'm heading off the the g/h with some tomorite
    Good luck
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 165
    I've been Googling a lot on this and have come to this conclusion:  In the UK (not hot climates) the plants need lots of sunlight to produce energy for the plants but the fruit needs plain light (or shade) for the fruit to ripen.  So areas within the green house should ideally have both as the sun moves during the day.  Does that sound reasonable?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 4,762
    The leaves need sun (or good light) to photosynthesize - turning light into sugar to power the plant.
    The fruits only need warmth to ripen - their skins have no receptors that can utilise light.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,685
    Rather than drape your tomato plants why not use conventional greenhouse shading?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 165
    I've just Googled greenhouse shading which looks good.  The problem is all the angles to attach the netting around neatly.  As you can see a builder made a lovely job of putting butterfly netting over all the air vents but that job looks easy in comparison to the rest of the roof.
  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 165
    Pete8:  So the actual tomatoes require heat and not daylight then?
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