The Q&A Archives: Increasing Tomato Yield in Hot Climates

Question: Last year I planted Burpee Sweet 100' cherry tomatoes. I reaped a nice amount of tomatoes but a large proportion of them were, I believe, undersize (1/2 inch or less in diameter). Could the high heat here in the west San Fernando Valley (over 100 degrees in the summer) have anything to do with the size of the tomatoes or is there something I can do to increase the size of the tomatoes before they ripen? Joel Kabakoff West Hills, CA

Answer: Tomatoes like heat but not too much. At night time temperatures above 75F and day time temperatures above 100F blossom drop occurs in many varities. For continued hot weather, after the fruits have set, you could try to temporarily shade the plants with shade cloth in the afternoon. You are dealing with weather conditions that can make it difficult to grow tomatoes in your region. You may also try heat resistant varieties such as 'Heat Wave' that set fruits even in the heat.

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