09 July 2009

How Much Heat Can Tomatoes Take?

We are just home from a week on the road and my neighbor came over and said the tomatoes should be covered to protect them from the next series of 100-degree days.

Is that true? Do you know? Do you cover your tomato plants in the heat? Sunscald can be a big problem for tomatoes. Kansas State University says that they will develop a leather like skin and rot inside (here).

One horticulture science site, Acta, says that shading tomato plants has these results: Increases the fruit yield, produces heavier and prettier fruit, and reduces sun scald.

Clemson University agrees here - cover the plants because the green fruits are vulnerable to hot humid weather.

Oklahoma State University Extension fact sheet - here - says that tomatoes need 2 inches of water a week to survive our heat. Pick them weekly when they are pink and let them ripen.

I know that many gardeners take cuttings now to start new plants for fall and I've never done that before either.

Do you take summer tomato plant cuttings to plant in August for fall harvest?

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