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Foil in plant pots

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twopenny
twopenny Posts: 5,788 Forumite
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Just a thought but a serious one.
I would like to plant a deciduous small tree beside the patio for shade in summer as the heat is fierce just there. I have a number of shrubs/small trees still tiny that would do.
But thought especially given the time of year, I could pot one up and move it around to see what works best or if it works.
But - with the fierce heat and terracotta the roots would bake.
I wondered if there would be some adverse reaction if I used the foil of emergency blankets to put around the inside to reflect some heat.
Weird I know but that's my garden. And I use these foil blankets pegged to a blind to stop me cooking on the settee during summer.

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  • 25_Years_On
    25_Years_On Posts: 3,029 Forumite
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    I tend to associated emergency blankets for keeping heat in but I know nothing about this. Light coloured terracotta is better than dark coloured plastic. I would consider double potting and filling the gap with damp sand.
  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 13,416 Forumite
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    I tend to associated emergency blankets for keeping heat in but I know nothing about this. Light coloured terracotta is better than dark coloured plastic. I would consider double potting and filling the gap with damp sand.
    Or fill gap with polystyrene chips?

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  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,788 Forumite
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    Won't polystyrene add to the heat?
    We're talking 9hrs of direct sun which reflects off the glass and pavers so often 30°c and sometimes more. Lovely help in cooler seasons but a problem in summer.
    I'm not sure if these blankets, which reflect the heat, may do to the roots.
    I have a lilac but in need of moving is a Witchazel which s growing like crazy. It may not like the heat.
    Some more googling for these things I think.

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  • Woolsery
    Woolsery Posts: 1,535 Forumite
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    edited 23 April 2022 at 11:34AM
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    Nurseries that have grown mature trees for years have done so in black pots or bags, so it cannot be a huge issue. More lately they're switching to lighter coloured alternatives, but I think that's more about recycling.
    Just drape a light coloured material like jute sacking over the pot and swoosh water on it when you can. Looks nicer than foil.
  • Sky_
    Sky_ Posts: 605 Forumite
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    It's a fascinating question, so thank you for posting it!  My googling found that the blankets consist of aluminium coated film, so my first question would be what effect the aluminium has on those plants.  I found this which confirms that the blankets are used for both heat protection and heat conservation, so that part of your theory is very correct. 

    I also found this which may be helpful (sorry if you've already seen it and I'm trying to teach you to suck eggs).  There must be answers, since many Mediterranean countries have plants in pots successfully. 

    I think it will also be an increasingly common issue, what with the state of the planet and all, so please let us know if you're successful! with it!
    2022. 2% MF challenge. £730/3000
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,788 Forumite
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    edited 23 April 2022 at 5:06PM
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    Good point about hot countries- but then different plants.
    Thanks for the research, haven't had time. 
    It seems it has mixed effect, quiet complex so it would mean line with foil next to the pot and then line with black plastic.
    Using it on the outside would be ugly, blinding in my tiny garden.
    Wonder if it would make life easier for the slugs or stop them?

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