thrive in full sun. But can soaring temperatures be too
much of a good thing for sun-loving plants during record
turned to Tomatomaniaís Scott Daigre, author of the
book "Tomatomania!: A Fresh Approach to Celebrating
Tomatoes in the Garden and in the Kitchen," who
says "six to eight hours of sun (a day) is all a
tomato plant needs so shade accordingly."
can thrive in the heat, Daigre says, but they wonít
pollinate and produce new fruit. Here, Daigre offers
tips on how to keep your tomatoes going strong during
the hot summer months:
plant needs shade for developing fruit. Try to take the
heat off from noon to 4 p.m. They need sun, they just
donít need sun all day in 105 degrees. Be creative. I
wrapped some of my container plants like an ice cream
cone. I used a row cover to drape over my tomato cages.
Row cover is very light and primarily protects against
birds. You can water though it. Some people are using
umbrellas. One of my readers told me he put up a wire
structure and layered it with palm fronds. It was a
South Seas island shelter."
goal is to soak the root ball. Soak the plant well in
the morning and then donít water it for a few days Ö
The key is to make sure you are giving the plant
abundant water every few days rather than a little bit
of water every day."
Remove colored fruit early
expect too much from your plants. Grab fruit early if it
is colored. You may not want to wait for it to ripen
(when temperatures are expected to soar.) If you are
picking early, clip the tomatoes and put them on a cool
kitchen counter for awhile. It will eventually ripen and
Mulch. Mulch. The more you mulch, the more you can
shield the soil from the hot breeze. I use straw all the
time which is available at any feed store. Put an inch
of compost underneath it to feed the soil. That way, you
protect the upper layer and cool the soil."
plants are taking the biggest hit because you canít
deep water them in a pot. You have to water the plant
every day. Twice a day perhaps in heat like this."
heat wave is one of the reasons that I recommend
planting north to south rows. That way, the plants get
exposure to the sun but donít get sun all day