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Growing Tomatoes In Extreme Heat

If you live in where the summer time temps stay around 95 or hotter all summer long then here are a few tips that will help you get the most from your tomato plants .

I recommend that you forget starting your seeds in late April or early May and start them in February. Start them indoors in a nice sunny window then move them outside once the night time temps consistently stay 57 degrees or warmer. In a lot of areas you'll be able to move your seedlings outside in late April or Early May which give so you a jump on the heat.

Once they are transplanted outside it's a good idea to put a lot of mulch around the bottom of each plant. This will keep the soil from heating up and keep it from drying out so fast. Give them a deep thorough watering at least 1 to 2 times (depending on where you live) a week, this will encourage the roots to grow deep down where the soil is cool. Also building some kind of shade for your tomato plants when the heat is at its most extreme in the middle of the day will add some protection.

Tomato plants love full sun when temperatures stay anywhere from 80 to 90 degrees but when the heat rises and your plants become heat stressed and one of the first signs you'll encounter will be blossoms dropping off. Temperature alone can also affect tomato fruits. When daytime temperatures sore to 95 degrees, tomatoes stop producing red pigment, so may ripen to orange. When they exceed 100 degrees and nighttime temperatures are in the 80s, the ripening process will slows down, and tomatoes seem to stop maturing. If you've got a heat wave headed your way it might a good idea to pick the fruits that are close to being ripe and let them ripen inside so you don't loose them to sun scald.

Once the temperatures are over 95 degrees and your plants stop producing you can trim them back and hope that they will pick up where they left off once the temperatures cool down. If you keep them watered in most cases they will make a comeback and provide you with tomatoes until the first frost sets in.

This wont guarantee that you'll save all your plants but through trial and error you will find out what works best for your tomato plants in your climate.

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