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Too hot for Tomatoes?

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Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  Darcyf5g on 6/27/2013, 10:16 am

I have a couple of beautiful tomato plants blooming and setting fruit like crazy. They are on a deck that get full afternoon sun and can get very hot. With the 80+ degree weather coming up, should I be concerned about shading them?

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Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  grownsunshine on 6/27/2013, 12:53 pm

Yeah! My tomato plants aren't quite as advanced. I have a beefsteak with 2 fruits and a cherry tomato plant. It's projected to get up to 102 for a couple of days this weekend. I'm concerned about my plants and my worms. Do we need to shade our tomato plants?

Darcyf5g - why do you think your getting so much fruit? Good job with MM?

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  gwennifer on 6/27/2013, 5:45 pm

Hi Darcy, glad to hear you are getting such great fruit set. Apparently tomatoes can get sunburned, though I personally haven't experienced it yet. I'm not worried about mine, but perhaps a more experienced tomato grower will come along with their advice.

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  plantoid on 6/27/2013, 6:08 pm

I guess 90 o F & above is the danger zone , mine got hit with 93 o F in the glasshouse for a few hours before I shade painted the greenhouse glass , they were like strips of thin green rubber as limp as a vicars handshake .

A quick dash around spraying a fine mist on the plants , on the glass and on the floor with the spray wand on the hose pipe rescued them as the temps dropped to the mid 80's , a few hours later they were pert & rampant again .
I was lucky , much longer and they'd have only been fit for the compost heap .

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  GWN on 6/27/2013, 6:23 pm

It is supposed to get up to 95 here this weekend as well. I believe that as long as they have been properly aclimatized to being outside, and that they are well watered they should be able to take the hot weather well. I have been thinking that that is what my plants have been waiting for. Where I live it is quite hot in the summer and the tomatoes thrive. It does seem a little foreign though after all the rain and cold weather we have had.


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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  sanderson on 6/27/2013, 6:52 pm

"Hot" is a relative word.  You guys are concerned about the 80's and 90's.  I'm complaining about the week of 100-109 F we are starting and then I think of Brainchasm in Las Vegas with 115 F expected.  Shocked  One thing I am now rabid about is mulching, mulching, mulching.  I love the light-colored playground bark I found.

Plantoid, I love English humor.  You crack me up.  (means:  make me laugh) Laughing

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tomato temps

Post  landarch on 6/27/2013, 7:21 pm

I think if the plants are established that with proper watering they should do just fine...however, blossoms and setting fruit are affected by high daytime and night time temps. Last year here in kansas city my tomato plants survived longs stints of temps above 100 degrees...highest was around 115 degrees...and night time temps remained above 85 degrees. The plants remained healthy but there was a major gap in tomato production.

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  GWN on 6/27/2013, 8:20 pm

I have always found that the peppers stop setting fruit when it gets very hot, but they resume when it cools down again.
Hot for us is over 95 Very Happy

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  camprn on 6/27/2013, 11:04 pm

@sanderson wrote:"Hot" is a relative word.  You guys are concerned about the 80's and 90's.  I'm complaining about the week of 100-109 F we are starting and then I think of Brainchasm in Las Vegas with 115 F expected.  Shocked  One thing I am now rabid about is mulching, mulching, mulching.  I love the light-colored playground bark I found.

Plantoid, I love English humor.  You crack me up.  (means:  make me laugh) Laughing
+1 If it is getting HOT in your neighborhood and you love your SFG, the best thing you can do for it is mulch. I too prefer the shredded bark mulch. I find it is easy to remove and no weed seeds.

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  plantoid on 6/28/2013, 5:48 am

@sanderson wrote:"Hot" is a relative word.  You guys are concerned about the 80's and 90's.  I'm complaining about the week of 100-109 F we are starting and then I think of Brainchasm in Las Vegas with 115 F expected.  Shocked  One thing I am now rabid about is mulching, mulching, mulching.  I love the light-colored playground bark I found.

Plantoid, I love English humor.  You crack me up.  (means:  make me laugh) Laughing

 Why thankee ......kind person I understood your comment , tis much better than being told I'm " Stoooopid " Wink

Just a quick inspired comment .


I feel that a  light mulch will reflect the heat onto the plants and as a consequence can easily end up cooking them . Where as a darker brown mulch will absorb the heat and pass it into the soil  without causing too much evaporation & also radiate some heat once the sun has gone to bed
Perhaps someone who has used both colour tones wold like to comment with their experiences  and /or observations.

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  Darcyf5g on 6/28/2013, 10:42 am

Well here comes the heat, but I'm glad we're not going to be as hot as some other places  I'm hearing about:affraid: .  I will just keep an eye on my tomatoes, I might set up a ladder or something to drape some burlap on for shade if it gets too hot.

grownsunshine, I really don't know why they are doing so well. I bought them at a local nursery when they were about 1 foot tall and very healthy. I put them in containers that hold 3 cubic feet of soil,(1 per container) in mid may.  Then I kept them covered with summer weight row cover until it started to warm up. I water consistently so they get an inch a week, unless it's raining.  I also added a little organic tomato food that my nursery recommended into my soil.  Then I just let them grow and they are happy.  I just hope they don't mind this heat wave.

It's not just my tomatoes that are doing well.  My husband and I have been able to have salad from our SFG's everyday for the last month.  We've also had Chard, Broccoli, snap peas and radishes.  This is the first time I've tried gardening this way and it's been so productive I can't believe it.  Beginners luck?

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  quiltbea on 6/28/2013, 10:59 am

I'm in the northeast and high temps are rare here, so when they say it'll hit 90F, I take out the shade cloth and put up barriers between the sun and my tomatoes, clipping it to bamboo poles.

Most of the cloth is placed diagonally to poles to shade the largest space.  That way I can also switch the cloth behind the plants to protect from the hot western sun.

I can report that my tomatoes did just fine thru the heat and are still blossoming and making green fruit.  This is much too early in our season to have temps that high.

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 6/29/2013, 12:41 pm

I'm near Sanderson so we've been getting ready for the crazy heat too. I had put some of my shade cloth away as the young plants had grown but I've brought it out for the weekend heat wave.

I just feel nothing likes 110 degree heat and everything would prefer a little filtered sun on those days! My lemon cucumbers have been wilting every day in the afternoon - hopefully they'll be happier.

My very first tomato will be ripe today or tomorrow. It was in a four pack from a local nursery and was supposed to be a Roma but it was obviously a wrong seed. Everything else including my cherry tomatoes, have a lot of fruit growing but not yet ripening.

Keep cool West coast!!!

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  Pollinator on 6/29/2013, 11:22 pm

If it's going over 100, I would shade them for sure. I've had tomatoes literally cook on the vine at those tempratures. Not just sunscald or sunburn; I mean COOK!

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  gwennifer on 7/1/2013, 3:25 pm

So this may be an appropriate place to bring up a fun fact my mom learned from the famous Las Vegas Tomato Lady. Plants respire (breathe). The temperature released when they breathe out is always the same, regardless of the temperature outside. I can't remember the exact temp the tomatoes respire at, but it was about 75 degrees F. So tomato lady says her goal when growing tomatoes in the heat of Las Vegas is to create a heap with her tomato vines, because inside the heap the temperature will always be that 75 degrees that the plants are breathing out. Interesting, huh?

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/1/2013, 5:02 pm

That is very interesting, Gwen. A heap o' vines. Altho isn't the air in Vegas very dry? With the hi humidity here that heap would dissolve into mush me thinks.

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too hot for tomatoes

Post  jerylsgates on 7/2/2013, 12:03 am

I live in Las Vegas also.  I decided that even though seed packets say "full sun", they do not mean Las Vegas' full sun.  So, I built frames on my square foot gardens and I put shade on top of all the gardens so that the heat of the day does not beat down on my gardens.  I put a thermometer in the gardens that had shade and a thermometer in a garden without the shade.  120 without/90 with.  I am now adding shade to all the sides facing the sun from noon til 8pm during this heat wave.  This SEEMS to be helping.

NOW, if I can get rid of the squash bugs!!! Invasion from you know where!  I am organically fighting them with insecticidal (homemade) soap mixture and, after 3 days of fighting them twice a day, I think I have a handle on it.  However, they may have killed the 2 squash plants before I could get totally rid of them.  Only time (and a bit cooler weather) will tell.  I am disappointed with the garden but I think the heat is just too much.

My cantaloupe is doing good, cucumbers are few but seem to like the heat, watermelon not fruiting, but the roma tomatoes are out of this world...small but a TON of them.

I think I am going to take the advice of mulching my tomato plants.  Good luck out there to everyone; especially the ones in the center of all this heat!

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Re: Too hot for Tomatoes?

Post  gwennifer on 7/2/2013, 12:11 am

@jerylsgates wrote:I live in Las Vegas also.  I decided that even though seed packets say "full sun", they do not mean Las Vegas' full sun.  So, I built frames on my square foot gardens and I put shade on top of all the gardens so that the heat of the day does not beat down on my gardens.  I put a thermometer in the gardens that had shade and a thermometer in a garden without the shade.  120 without/90 with.  I am now adding shade to all the sides facing the sun from noon til 8pm during this heat wave.  This SEEMS to be helping.

Hi jerylsgates and glad you\'re here  to the forum! A thirty degree difference with the shade cloth -that's fantastic! My hubby built frames and put shade cloth in our upper story south facing windows but I've always kinda thought all it does it make it darker in here. Razz 


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