Tomatoes are a warm-season crop that prefers warm days and nights. However, when the temperature reaches above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the plants stop setting fruit until the weather cools down a bit. Low levels of humidity prevent the fruit from setting as well. If you live where summers are hot, plant the tomatoes where they receive six to seven hours of morning sun and afternoon shade. For emergency measures during a heat wave, shade the tomato plants.
Mist the tomatoes during the hottest part of the day to cool them down. Evaporating water will drop the temperature from five to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the humidity level. The lower the humidity, the more the temperature will drop.
Shade the plants by draping cheesecloth over them.
Cage the plants and drape white sheets over the tomato cages during the hottest part of the day. Wet the sheets with the mister for a double dose of cooling.
Construct a Tent
Pound the stakes into the ground around the tomato plants.
Attach the rope to the first stake and string it to the next stake. Tie it to that stake and string it to the next stake. Continue all stakes have been roped together.
Drape the shade cloth over the ropes to form a tent. Secure the shade cloth to the tops of the stakes with rubber bands. Push the cloth over the tip of the stake and wrap it with a rubber band. Keep the tomatoes shaded until temperatures drop below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Things You Will Need
- Hose with misting attachment
- Plant cages
- Stakes, 5-feet tall
- Clothesline or rope
- Shade cloth
- Rubber bands
- Tomato plants will wilt in the heat even if the ground is damp.
- Wash your hands after handling tomato plants. The vines and leaves are toxic.