New to gardening, tomato help!

greyongrayMay 17, 2009

Hi All,

I'm new to gardening and I was so excited with my mild success with my first plant (tomato) that I neglected to do the research about Arizona gardening. I assumed we were a good place for vegetables, maybe b/c of all the growing on the 303.

I didn't know about the no-grow season during the >90 weather! I really want my plants to survive until the fall season, is this realistic?

Currently plants are outdoors in a small raised bed garden, on a drip system/timer, and I could build a shade for them. Or maybe I could put them in containers and bring inside?

I've been bitten by the gardening bug and what a learning year this will be. But I'd also like to save my few plants from the heat if possible.


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I forgot to mention - the plants themselves seem to be doing well, no new fruits (I assume due to the heat). But with the recent temp increase they look to have declined maybe 10%... a few dry leaf edges.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 6:18PM
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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

Here in Las Cruces I have built a shade cover for my veg garden. I works great at protecting the plants from the direct sun and provides a reduction of about 5-10 degrees which helps the plants set fruit. I use 70% shade cloth on top and about 3 ft. down of the south side. You can purchase the cloth at HD or Lowe's.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 10:09PM
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mister_gin(z9 AZ)


You're definitely going to need to shade the plants if you want to keep them going. I'll use my shade cloth, or patio umbrellas, over the plants while the fruit is ripening, but after that, my plants get pulled. I'm a cruel gardener.

BTW, fruit set usually wont happen above 90-95 degrees. You'll still get some in the early morning when the temps are low but not so much later in the day. My Early girls have pretty much stopped setting fruit but my Sweet 100 is still setting some.

Good luck

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 3:15PM
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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

Self pollinating veg, which is all modern hybrids, will not set fruit when temps get above 90, as mentioned above, because the pollen gets sticky. You can pollinate the flowers by hand. Early in the morning tap the flower so the pollen will fall on the style of the pistol and fertilize the eggs.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 10:58PM
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