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Growing Tomatoes In The Desert

Posted by sherilou_2010 6 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 10, 11 at 9:42

What are your methods to prevent transplant shock for tomato plants that you've started? I've found that the intense desert heat, high winds and cold nights are absolute misery for tomatoes.

Also... please list any other tomato growing tricks that you have learned for producing tomatoes in the desert. I really would love to get my beefsteak tomatoes to produce this year... thank you so much!!!

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RE: Growing Tomatoes In The Desert

Well you're right that the desert heat, wind, and cold nights are hard on transplants, and I would add intense sunlight and low humidity!

I live above the desert proper, where of the above list the only thing we don't get at transplanting time is quite so much heat, but the sunlight is even more intense due to the elevation (around 7,000)....So here's what I do:

1. First of all make absolutely sure the plants are fully hardened off by setting them in their pots outside for a week or two. Gradually move them from a sheltered spot to a more exposed one over this time.
2. If possible choose cooler, overcast (rainy would be best!) weather for transplanting, and do it in the evening, certainly not in the heat of the midday.
3. For an added boost experiment with some kind of row/plant cover. I use those clear 5-gallon water containers with the bottom cut out, slipped down over the plant with a bamboo pole stuck down through the mouth and into the soil to keep it from blowing away.

I've never lost a plant following these basic considerations, and I've seen plenty of other people's transplants wilting away. This underscores the importance of the first step -- hardening off.

Good luck with your tomatoes this year!

RE: Growing Tomatoes In The Desert

The 5 gallon water container trick is perfect... thank you!!! My plants will love that at night and on really windy days. :)

RE: Growing Tomatoes In The Desert

on the right track. Our big beef were 7 feet tall and 8 ft around with 100s of to's. But ours were in the patio surrounded by 12 inch thick 4 ft tall stucco walls and the house on one side. A wall makes a huge difference.

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