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Question

Here in the high desert of Arizona (4500ft) it seems with the cold nights, tomatoes don’t grow very good until it gets real hot out. Then it seems so hot the plants wilt during the day and the blossoms drop. I get tomatoes but not a lot. Any suggestions how to deal with this? Thank you!

Answers

2 answers

  1. You've got two factors that you need to turn in your favor; one being cold nights, and the other being hot days. So I recommend planting types suited to each. Start with early-maturing varieties that tolerate colder night temperatures than most tomatoes, such as Early Girl, Stupice, and Black Prince. Of course you can still grow your favorites but you will need to protect plants from cold nights with a floating row cover, by growing them in a hoop house (easy to make with clear plastic and pvc pipe that you bend into hoops), or covering with hotcaps, which are plastic caps that protect individual plants. Also mulching the ground with plastic or the new red plastic mulch will help moderate soil temperatures at night and keep plants a bit warmer.

    As for the hot summer days, tomatoes can fail to set fruit and/or drop blossoms when temperatures stay above 95 degrees for a period of time. You might try cooling down the heat with a temporary lean-to or shelter over plants, or grow varieties that tolerate intense heat and long summer days. A few to consider include Big Beef, Kellogg's Breakfast, Heat Wave, Celebrity, and Champion. Good luck!

    1. In response to Kris_Wetherbee

      Excellent suggestions...as usual!! :-) Thank you!

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