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Tomato temperature question

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Post  Jay Bird 3/22/2011, 1:03 pm

Ok as most know I have the greenhouse full of Trust variety tomatoes, well Sunday I cut the bottom 3 feet of sidewall off to allow a cool breath of air inside it was close 100 deg inside on a 80 deg day, I know toms like 60 to 85 deg for best production. The question is this , starting sat night we are expecting low 50's to upper 40's at night what will that do to producing tom's if I leave it go? Should I reattach the sidewalls and turn the heat back on??

Carolyn??? you still reading?? By the way Carolyn is my hero right up there with Boffer
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/22/2011, 1:08 pm

JayBird, I'm no expert, but we are also expecting storms this weekend in our area, bad ones too. Farmer's Almanac says some places in our region, South Central US, (OK, AR, LA, TX, NM) could get snow too. As I said I'lm no expert on growing, but my 2nd child, aka my human weather predictor, is saying cold. I'm not putting anything out yet. I would rather put them on and have to take them back off, than not put them on and have bad weather, but that's me and that's why I have kids....
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Post  Jay Bird 3/22/2011, 1:18 pm

I realize now why the farmers in the 1800's had lots of kids!! it was to do the work !! I need a few kids mine are all gone and grandkids either too far away or have jobs and girlfriends, that keeps them too busy to work ,, I wonder if I could rent some kids cheap??
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Post  quiltbea 3/22/2011, 1:18 pm

Tomatoes can be transplanted in air temps of 45* or higher, but such a drastic change from your highs to 40s may be a bit much. They haven't even been hardened off.
I'd enclose them again or put a blanket over the area.
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/22/2011, 1:23 pm

If we were a 2 car family I would bring mine up there just for the experience, they work for food. They think our little plot is too much work, seeing what you have, and hubby and I want, might change their minds. I too would love to help out, just for the experience, and possibly some animal poo.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/22/2011, 5:36 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote:As I said I'lm no expert on growing, but my 2nd child, aka my human weather predictor, is saying cold.....

Ok...now we have to compare notes. I have a middle child, 9, that can call a rainstorm better than an exNFL'rs trick knee. Mine has autism and an especially keen sense of air pressure due to proprioception issues. He is a human barometer.
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Post  boffer 3/22/2011, 6:11 pm

Caroline's been scarce; she had an awful lot on her plate there for a while.

Toms quit growing above 85-90. They quit growing in the upper 40's; the tough part is that after it warms up they just sit there dormant-like for days when it warms up. The forties won't kill them, but it will play heck with your projected harvest dates.

Most folks have green houses for fall, winter, and spring. In the PNW we like them in the summer for toms and peppers to help us along on the many summer nights that are in the forties.
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Post  acara 3/22/2011, 7:40 pm

Fixed temps above freezing will just slow them down, but the temp swings will stunt the growth & make them disease/blight susceptible.

As Boffer mentioned, 85+ is bad & many will not bloom & drop bloom above that temp.

"Textbook" is 78 for most heirlooms, but there are hybrids that will bloom/hold bloom into the 90's.

FWIW, I've grown most of the "heat tolerant" hybrids .... and the Jiffy pot was tastier Laughing

Solar Fire is probably he most recent example of "yeah, it will grow, but ya don't wanna eat it"
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Post  elliephant 3/22/2011, 9:51 pm

@acara wrote:Fixed temps above freezing will just slow them down, but the temp swings will stunt the growth & make them disease/blight susceptible.

As Boffer mentioned, 85+ is bad & many will not bloom & drop bloom above that temp.

"Textbook" is 78 for most heirlooms, but there are hybrids that will bloom/hold bloom into the 90's.

FWIW, I've grown most of the "heat tolerant" hybrids .... and the Jiffy pot was tastier Laughing

Solar Fire is probably he most recent example of "yeah, it will grow, but ya don't wanna eat it"

affraid You're killing me here, Acara...I guess I should try growing them in the house? 78 is what we keep the A/C at...year round! I did try picking heat-tolerant types (mostly going by SESE descriptions); sure hope I get tomatoes even though we're already in the 90s.
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/22/2011, 9:52 pm

Now I understand why we get very few if any tomatoes from mid June through the end of August, it hits 90 and stays well above, heck we've already hit 82.
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Post  walshevak 3/22/2011, 9:59 pm

In the Philippines, tomatos are grown under shade cloth to cut the temperature. And the maters are usually a smaller roma type.

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Post  elliephant 3/22/2011, 10:10 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote:Now I understand why we get very few if any tomatoes from mid June through the end of August, it hits 90 and stays well above, heck we've already hit 82.

We hit 96 in Feb (3 weeks after a high of 35) and are expected to do so again Sat. We haven't had a high below 85 in the past week. But I've got blooms and my (very limited) experience says I'll get at least some to set as long as we stay in the low 90s or below...cooling off at night helps, too, and we're still getting down to about 70 or even a little below. There are the ideals, and then there is the reality...and since I've never known the ideal weather I guess I'll just close my eyes a little and pretend like my tomatoes will be just fine! Tomato temperature question 46987
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Post  Goosegirl 3/23/2011, 6:57 am

@elliephant wrote:
@FarmerValerie wrote:Now I understand why we get very few if any tomatoes from mid June through the end of August, it hits 90 and stays well above, heck we've already hit 82.

We hit 96 in Feb (3 weeks after a high of 35) and are expected to do so again Sat. We haven't had a high below 85 in the past week. But I've got blooms and my (very limited) experience says I'll get at least some to set as long as we stay in the low 90s or below...cooling off at night helps, too, and we're still getting down to about 70 or even a little below. There are the ideals, and then there is the reality...and since I've never known the ideal weather I guess I'll just close my eyes a little and pretend like my tomatoes will be just fine! Tomato temperature question 46987

Thanks for sparking memories! I just now remembered that my dad always planted his tomatoes in our backyard where they would get SHADE in the late afternoon (west facing backyard in CA). Never occurred to me until now that in our 100-110F summer heat that THAT could be why he had such fabulous tomatoes! Until recently I didn't realize that tomatoes did not really like that high heat because Dad's were always so good and we ALWAYS had HEAT!

TC
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Post  acara 3/23/2011, 7:19 am



affraid You're killing me here, Acara...I guess I should try growing them in the house? 78 is what we keep the A/C at...year round! I did try picking heat-tolerant types (mostly going by SESE descriptions); sure hope I get tomatoes even though we're already in the 90s.

According to the "textbook", I should only be able to grow tomatos about 6 weeks out of the year ....LOL

Take it with a grain of salt. A lot of the references floating around today are older & were based on heirloom varieties......and didn't consider a lot of the newer practices (augmented growing medium, automatic irrigation, hardier plants, etc).

Hybrids have changed a lot of this, and your mileage will undoboutedly vary, based on what your growing.

I think a lot of th old "target temps" made assumptions like "If it's 90+ outside, it must be dry conditions". Toss in some shade & unlimited water supply & you may have a whole different ball game at 90+ degrees..

For my crops, sustained temps above 90 just mean a reduced bloom/harvest (and a huge irrigation bill) .....but I've never been "skunked" at any temp (solely due to the temperature)
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/23/2011, 8:45 am

Our area starts to get sun from 7AM, and the whole area is in the sun by 10, I garden by the shade. It is in the sun until about 8 PM, this is in July and August, so that's 10 hours of TX sun. We discusses using a roll of screen hubby has to shade some boxes on the South and West sides, our pepper don't really start to produce until it starts to get cool again. We may just have to keep them alive, and build hoop houses for late fall and winter-we shall see.
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