My poor tomato plants


Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Location
New Jersey
Country
United States
I am growing tomatoes in big buckets. They were doing so well until we got hit with 6 weeks of 90+ degree weather. I watered them everyday, and if necessary, twice daily. But after a month in the heat they stopped producing . My flowers dissappeared and the small fruits stayed green. I read it was because they went into "survival mode". I struggled with some of my potted annuals also but they are showing signs of full life again now that the weather has normalized. My question is this, will my tomatoes come back and start producing again, or are they pretty much shot for the year?
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
10,521
Reaction score
4,925
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I am growing tomatoes in big buckets. They were doing so well until we got hit with 6 weeks of 90+ degree weather. I watered them everyday, and if necessary, twice daily. But after a month in the heat they stopped producing . My flowers dissappeared and the small fruits stayed green. I read it was because they went into "survival mode". I struggled with some of my potted annuals also but they are showing signs of full life again now that the weather has normalized. My question is this, will my tomatoes come back and start producing again, or are they pretty much shot for the year?
Your tomatoes will ripen and when the nighttime LOW temperatures stay below about 70F they will set more fruit. If day time temperatures exceed 93F blooms will drop. Above 95F growth stops. This does not apply to cherry tomatoes. They will bear fruit into the mid 80's but stop bearing when about 95F. Failure of cherry varieties to set fruit is due more to the pollen being unviable due to adverse humidity.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2017
Messages
6,013
Reaction score
4,635
Location
Birmingham, AL USA
Hardiness Zone
8a
Country
United States
I am growing tomatoes in big buckets. They were doing so well until we got hit with 6 weeks of 90+ degree weather. I watered them everyday, and if necessary, twice daily. But after a month in the heat they stopped producing . My flowers dissappeared and the small fruits stayed green. I read it was because they went into "survival mode". I struggled with some of my potted annuals also but they are showing signs of full life again now that the weather has normalized. My question is this, will my tomatoes come back and start producing again, or are they pretty much shot for the year?
Be prepared with shade cloth next year. Its not just that the ambient air is hot. Using a non contact thermometer on a tomato or other plant in hot sun should show shocking surface temperatures. The internal temp can be lower than ambient thru transpiration but its toasty in the sunlight.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
1,474
Reaction score
957
Country
United Kingdom
Be prepared with shade cloth next year. Its not just that the ambient air is hot. Using a non contact thermometer on a tomato or other plant in hot sun should show shocking surface temperatures. The internal temp can be lower than ambient thru transpiration but its toasty in the sunlight.
agreed, when there was a heat wave here the other week I found there were tomatoes with loose skins, just like if you poured boiling water over them to peel them. I had made a failed attempt at a dew catcher with a huge sheet of net, came in very handy propped against the south wall of the greenhouse.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Location
New Jersey
Country
United States
Well its good news that they may come back. And the shade trick is very interesting. TYVM for the tip. I cut off all brown and yellowing branches, added a little compost and watered using a bit if fertilizer and liquid kelp I made from the powder. They look nice, lets just hope they produce. In prior years my bucket plants produced all season and up to almost November. But this year the heat has been brutal. But thanks again for the feedback.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Location
New Jersey
Country
United States
Ok, so I have another question. Although it was very hot here this summer, we have had similar conditions in previous years and my tomatoes have done well and have not suffered like they are this year. Go figure. I have been researching "heat set" tomatoes, such as Big Beef, Black Krim, and Arkansas Travelers. How much more tolerant are these plants as opposed to the Supersteak type varieties? I thought it was wise to grow plants that produced huge fruits, but now learn that they are heat susceptible. I would rather have smaller fruits than have none at all during the midst of summer. But given the "reliability" of the internet, I thought it wise to come here and ask for knowledgeable information to verify or disclaim anything I read. So I hope for some feedback to guide me toward next years planning. Tyvm
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
10,521
Reaction score
4,925
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
As I have said many times before, fruit set happens during the nighttime hours and the optimum temps are about 68F-70F. These are the best temps for SET but it is possible for fruit set as low as 62F and as high as 76F. But these temps are only 1/2 of the equation. The humidity must be correct for the temps. Anything below about 40%-45% and over 65%-70% fruit will not set. Researchers are trying to breed tomatoes that will set fruit at higher temps but so far about 76F is the highest achieved and this is for a few select varieties such as Heatmaster, Heatwave, Solar Fire, Solar Flare and a few others. The humidity must still be correct for these higher temps. As a side note these tomato varieties also have a thicker skin than other tomatoes.

Then there are heat tolerant tomatoes. Heat tolerant tomatoes are varieties in which GROWTH of the tomato fruit is extended. Optimum daylight temperature is 80F-85F. When sustained temps approach 90F growth of the tomato slows down and at 95F it stops. Heat tolerant tomatoes will sustain growth at a higher temps up to 93F but will still stop growth at 95F. Low nighttime temps and humidity percentages are the same as with regular tomato varieties.

Big Beef, Black Krim and Arkansas Traveler are heat tolerant varieties. Which of the heat tolerant varieties are the most heat tolerant is difficult to say. But, the larger the fruit is supposed to be at maturity, the longer it takes to reach this size. Thus, the longer it takes the more high temperatures affect the growing fruit and vice versa. The Arkansas Traveler being a smaller tomato will achieve its potential size and ripeness in the same temps faster than a larger fruited variety in high temps.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Location
New Jersey
Country
United States
The last post was a bit rambling, But it looked like he was asking "Am I better off growing larger rather than more regular varieties?"

Yes. Actually just simply, are so called "heat tolerant " tomatoes really legitimate? Do they in fact generally tolerate the heat better than regular ones, yes of no.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
10,521
Reaction score
4,925
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Yes. Actually just simply, are so called "heat tolerant " tomatoes really legitimate? Do they in fact generally tolerate the heat better than regular ones, yes of no.
Yes and yes. But to different degrees. Large heat tolerant tomatoes are affected more by heat than smaller tomatoes under the same temperatures. Heat tolerant varieties can tolerate about a 3-5+ degree temperature increase over regular tomatoes and each heat tolerant variety has a slightly different temperature range than another. But if you have consistent 95+ temps no tomato will produce as expected.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2022
Messages
51
Reaction score
31
Location
Philadelphia
Country
United States
Your tomatoes will ripen and when the nighttime LOW temperatures stay below about 70F they will set more fruit. If day time temperatures exceed 93F blooms will drop. Above 95F growth stops. This does not apply to cherry tomatoes. They will bear fruit into the mid 80's but stop bearing when about 95F. Failure of cherry varieties to set fruit is due more to the pollen being unviable due to adverse humidity.
You were right! I was having the same problem with my tomatoes. Temperatures have dipped here, and mine have started producing!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Aug 10, 2022
Messages
34
Reaction score
12
Location
West yorkshire
Country
United Kingdom
We did have extreme high heat this year, especially in direct sunlight. When we had the heatwave of 35°to 40°, yes the air was that temp, but when I left ny thermometer in the sun next to my plants it was showing 52° heat after 1.5hr. Luckily my tomato plant only showed signs of light sunburn. So for that hot week I moved mine to a shady location out of direct sunlight. They did get morning sunlight from sunrise till 11.30am, but the early morning sun is nit as hot as afternoon. When temps were hitting 30° it was doing fine in that afternoon sun. I had lots of growth on the plant due to the sun. I've had to move it to my front door now as the neighbours dog kept digging in my soils. I just leave the outside light on for it now with the few hours of morning sun and its still not doing bad tbf.

At first my plant looked like yours, but as soon as I gave it tomato plant feed and more watering. It bounced back.

Snapchat-2020148610.jpg
Snapchat-2006763561.jpg
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top