Question of the Week
browse by: questions
Thanks to Nancy Garrett for this great question! Like many of us, she's already had some 90° days in her area. Though tomatoes do love the heat, this early heat is a little intense while they get established.
And when we have hot weather during the flowering season, fruiting will be affected. Hot temperatures and dry air will denature the pollen on those flowers, making it infertile.
SO, what you want to be careful about is watering those plants properly early in the season. Also, regular irrigation is important to combat blossom-end rot and fruit cracking. Blossom-end rot is caused by calcium deficiency, a result of irregular watering. Uneven water—watering too little and letting the soil dry out—and then watering too much contributes to the problem.
Good quality, small aggregate mulch around those plants will increase the humidity and air around them, helping to keep the pollen nice and moist so that it will be active.
You may also use a little bit of light shade cloth to decrease the intensity of the sun, but be careful to not use too heavy of a grade on that so you don't screen too much of the sun. These plants do need a full day of sun to flower and fruit for you. Often summertime gardeners also use light shade cloth to screen plants from the intense heat.