Return to the Four Season Vegetable Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Tomatoes + Using Mirrors for More Sun?

Posted by cshorey none (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 5, 12 at 15:37

I'm pretty new to gardening so this might be an all over the place set of questions.

I've been trying my hand at "upside down"/hanging tomato plants but I am limited with the amount of sunlight I can get because I live in an apartment building with limited space outside.

I've been doing a kind of experiment with three different tomato plants.

1 plant: in complete, regular sun
1 plant: in the shade with sun provided by a "Sunflower Home Heliostat" (it's basically a mirror that has a sun tracker so it can provide consistent sunlight to my tomato plant)
1 plant: gets afternoon sun but is otherwise in the shade

What I've found is the regular sun and mirror plant have flowered at about the same rate, and the fruit itself has grown at about the same rate -- but the mirror ones are actually bit larger. I'm not sure if this is due to the more consistent sunlight or if it might have to do with, maybe, the amount of fertilizer the plants are receiving (the one with the mirror is farther away from my building so it doesnt have runoff from the roof pouring through it in the rain... which could be washing away fertilizer or something), or maybe even pollination for the plants, because they're in a slightly different locations so maybe the access to them by bees or something varies enough? Maybe I'm just over thinking things... And then the plant that only gets afternoon sun, I've been struggling with overall.

I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on:
1. how much sunlight tomato plants actually need
2. how much fertilizer should I be using? if anything?
3. do I need to pollinate the plants myself somehow?
4. using mirrors to increase sunlight to plants in general and on tomatoes specifically - is this good, bad, effective?

And just if any experienced tomato growers might have any explanations as to the results I've been experiencing.

I'd appreciate any thoughts/explanations/comments. Thank you!!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Tomatoes + Using Mirrors for More Sun?

I read one time that it was at least 7 hours. The more the better for tomatoes.


 o
RE: Tomatoes + Using Mirrors for More Sun?

Mirrors do seem like a good idea,but I've read that they can burn/sunscald the plant. There is such a thing as too much sunlinght. Mirrors are not perfectly flat, and can focus sunlight on spots. And it's not like the mirror can lengthen the time of daylight. I have to confess i've tried this on a small scale, and didn't see any results - or any harm.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Four Season Vegetable Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here