what temp is too cold for tomatoes?

jclepine(8b)September 2, 2008

Hello all. This is only my second year with tomatoes and with any kind of produce up here. I forget when to start protecting my maters from the cold.

The forecast is only for 36 tonight and the rest of the week is 40-46. When should I start bringing them in? I keep them in pots so they can move in and out of the yard/house.

I think I remember 32 as being the "bring em inside" temp, but I'm not sure.

I'm growing two cherries, one is Sprite and the other is yellow pear.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,


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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I'm of the "better safe than sorry" ilk, Jennifer, and if they're saying 36, I'd be inclined to throw an old sheet over them---just in case "they're" wrong. If it's not windy, it's easy to cover them, and then you won't have to lay awake and wonder about them overnite. Maybe I'm just a worrywart! But, yes, they should be ok down to "about" 32!

See you Saturday,

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 11:13PM
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After a while, you'll get to know what the forecast is and what reality is (speaking temperature wise here) at your place. Here, its 5º less almost all of the time. Except when it isn't. Personally, I get worried if the forecast is less than 40º and its windy. But what Skybird sez. A sheet should do it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 9:03AM
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I used a sheet during the hail storms and they seemed just fine.

Am I silly bringing them inside? Will a sheet be enough?

I have my tomato sheet by the door all ready to go :)

I think unless it decides to snow, I'll just use the sheet. They are heavy!

I'm not sure just how accurate the weather forecast is. I use NOAA but it is usually about five degrees cooler here, David!! I can't tell if it is because I never bothered to set up more than one thermometer or if it is just that much cooler.

The high today is calling for a comfy 64!

Thanks a bunch!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 9:54AM
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At 32 you will definitely have damage to the plant. Usually balcked leaves and sometimes transparent patches on the tomatoes. By covering them you can gain 2-5 degrees underneath. Sheets, tarps, boxes, row covers. However when it gets below 38 degrees it really slows down the growing and ripening. My tomatoes are about 3 weeks behind normal this year due to cold nights. But I am hoping on 2 more weeks of possible growing. I don't like to pick until I have to as it could turn out nice?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 12:17AM
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Wooo-hoooo! 39º this morning!!! (say it ain't so.......)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 9:34AM
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