Do tomato plants like late afternoon hot sun

    0  Views: 600 Answers: 2 Posted: 10 years ago

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    Your full sun in the afternoon may simply be too much sun for tomatoes in hot areas of the country and/or during the kind of heat waves the East Coast has been having this year. We tend to think of tomatoes as THE classic plants of summer, but most varieties suffer when daytime temps stay above 90° F. or nights don’t drop below 75° F.

    Now, these extremes won’t kill the plants, but they will destroy the current crop of pollen on the flowers. Let’s say it’s a searing 97° F. every day for a solid week; no flowers that open during that stretch will produce tomatoes. But existing tomatoes should be fine, and new flowers that open under normal temps should produce normal pollen and normal tomatoes. 

    That’s what can make a seemingly simple seed catalog phrase like “full sun” so treacherous. Plants so indicated do generally need full, all-day sun in the Northern tier of the country, but as you move into my Southern Pennsylvania down to around DC it really depends on the season. Last year was cool and cloudy and the plants craved as much sun as their little solar collecting leaves could gather. But THIS year, we’ve already had several stretches of pollen-frying weather, and so this season’s plants would prefer to get some shade after one or two in the afternoon. And down in the torrid Deep South, “full sun” almost always means, “give these poor things some afternoon shade—please!”




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