The Q&A Archives: Tomatoes In Puerto Rico

Question: We bought nine different types of Heirlooms Burpee's tomato seeds. We live in Puerto Rico and the temperatures are always above 84 degrees Fahrenheit. How much time do the plants need to be under the sun each day? We are transporting the plants every day from shadow to sunlight and back, but we do not know exactly how to handle this matter properly under our tropical circumstances.

Answer: Tomatoes need 6-8 hours of sunlight to thrive. Morning sun is best, with protection from hot afternoon sun. Tomatoes are a big commercial crop in Florida, so they should grow for you. However, when temperatures are over 90 degrees, their pollen is not viable, so they can't set fruit. If there is a time of year when temperatures are less than 90, that would be the time to plant. Tomatoes are very sensitive to changes in soil moisture, so keep your plants well-watered, with soil remaining moist, but not overly wet. Good luck!

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