Saving Tomatoes from Tripple Digit Temps

30 Jun
Saving Tomatoes from Tripple Digit Temps

It’s panic time here in the Atlanta area and in other parts of the country where tripple digit temps forecast not only dangerous conditions but anxiety as gardeners scurry around trying to save their crops from baking beneath the sun and care for livestock who suffer when weather conditions deteriorate. Here are a few tips you can do to protect your plants.

  • Mist plants ONLY in the afternoon

    Hydrate: Obviously plants need extra moisture now more than ever. However, never, ever water after 10 am. Mist plants in the early morning and late hours. The best time to water plants is between the hours of 7 and 9 pm. Plants have all night to absorb life-saving moisture. Also, any moisture that accumulates on leaves during daylight hours WILL burn plants.

  • Protect. Now is the time to add an extra layer of mulch around all plants.
  • Rest. Do not fertilize any plant or flower during the month of July. Fertilizer encourages new growth, something the plant cannot sustain since it is working hard just to survive.

Shade. Wilting foliage leaves fruit susceptible to sunburn. Erect temporary (Jed-Clampit like) shade by using sheets to cover tomatoes.

  • Pray. Most of all, pray for those living in drought regions; especially those whose homes are threatened with wildfires.

Now is also the time to reach out to those who are elderly and do not have air conditioning. Take them to the museum, the public library, to the movies during the hours of 2 -6 when temperatures are their hottest.

For the animal lover, place a bowl of water outside for the birds who are struggling to find adequate moisture. I have added ice to the rabbit’s water. Two bunnies are drinking almost one gallon per day. For the chicken lovers, add ice to their water, but also add a container of dirt so they can scratch in the dirt and cool themselves. You might also consider setting up a box fan in front of the chickens. Many of my friends are loosing their animals in the heat. Check on them several times during the day.

Renea Winchester is the author of In the Garden with Billy: Lessons about Life, Love & Tomatoes and Stress-Free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author. Visit her at

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Try to stay cool and hydrated.





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5 responses to “Saving Tomatoes from Tripple Digit Temps

  1. latebloomershow

    June 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Great advice, thanks!

  2. Satin Sheet Diva

    July 2, 2012 at 2:03 am

    I never realized how much went into gardening until I started reading your blog. Amazing work you do both on paper and in your garden :-).

  3. Marcella Rousseau

    July 2, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Someone was asking for help about her tomatoes in her blog the other day. She didn’t know what was wrong with them. I told her tomatoes don’t like the 90 degree weather! You have a good idea there about the sheet. Lately everyday we hear some thunder but no rain or 30 seconds of rain and that’s it. I just know nature is going to make up for this in a big way eventually. I’m going to follow you – I like your advice : – )

    • Renea

      July 2, 2012 at 3:18 am

      Thanks Marcella for the follow. A friend of mine is using large umbrellas to shade her tomatoes. The shade will help tremendously. With temps in the 100’s I’m thinking about putting the box fans outside. Next up: blossom end rot brought on by drought.

  4. Nancy Garry

    July 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Thank you for your wonderful advise on how to help God’s plants, people and animals.. Will be sharing this excellent resource!


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