keeping pots cool

Siri Atma S Khalsa
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 21:09:51 PST
I use several methods to keep pots cool.  First I use a soil temperature
thermometer to measure temp in pots.  Second, if I am going to keep the
plant in a pot for a long time (a year or more), I use a paint primer and
paint the pot white (I don't worry about the top lip as that is above the
soil).  Most of the time I find a black pot painted white pot stays less
than 85 F, usually 75 F (where I live day temps run 65 winter to 95 in
summer).  Bigger pots benefit more from white paint.  For smaller pots, I
cut pieces of 1/2" ply in 8 ft lengths (5' lengths for the green house
benches).  I either lean them up against a line of 1 gallon or 2 gallon
pots, or I screw a tap on each end that will go under a pot to hold the
board upright.  The ply is nice because it isn't that wide and stores
easily.  In the winter, the black pots are actually nice, to keep the soil
warmer.  My passiflora love a warm, moist pot and will die in a cold, wet
pot.  I also have 4 areas for pots.  Two receive morning sun, one is
against a south wall by a pool, one is on the north side of a wall.  I also
have a 50% shaded area which has a drop shade on the south side for the
winter sun that sneaks in under the shade.  I just leave the soil
thermometer in a test pot in the warmest, easily visible area and that
tells me when I need to start moving pots around.  I start moving once I
see 80 F.  Sounds like a lot of work, but I often have up to 2,000 4"
through 15 gallon pots.  When I paint the pots I use two coats with a brush
(primer re-coats virtually instantly).  Spray paint is not better and costs
more.  By using a primer, if the paint scratches off, I just touch it up.
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