Growing your tomatoes can be exciting, but they’re pretty sensitive to extreme weather conditions such as high humidity. This, therefore, means that to have a great yield, you need to consider the weather conditions. For example, tomatoes grown in rain gutters and those that need hot humid air. But, what are the best tomatoes for hot humid weather?
This article discusses how to grow tomatoes in humid weather and how to ensure you increase your harvest. Additionally, it offers tips on the steps to take to protect your crops if it becomes too hot.
Moreover, you’ll learn when is the ideal time to water your crops during hot periods.
What To Consider When Choosing Tomatoes For Hot Humid Weather
When choosing the best tomatoes for hot, humid weather, you should ensure they can withstand the following 2 problems:
When tomatoes encounter extreme heat, they may experience difficulty in setting fruit. Therefore, ensure the variety is heat-tolerant and can produce tomatoes in temperatures higher than usual.
Humidity creates a conducive breeding ground for fungi which causes early and late blight. It causes blight to flourish and will adversely affect your plants. Thus, go for tomato varieties that can resist blight.
On the other hand, you can choose a type that produces fruits regardless of being affected by the blight.
Best Tomatoes For Hot Humid Weather
Some of the best tomatoes for hot, humid weather include cherry tomatoes, which are resistant to humidity and heat. Additionally, you can plant Heirloom tomatoes. However, they’re more prone to fungal and tomato wilt diseases. Therefore, you must be extra vigilant and ensure your plants’ foliage remains healthy and green.
Below are some tomato varieties you can grow in hot, humid weather:
It’s a big tomato plant that produces meaty yellow-orange tomatoes with red marbling. The fruits have a mild peach unique flavor and are suitable for salads and sandwiches.
Quite ideal for hot, humid weather as it sets its fruits even in hot weather. Additionally, it’s resistant to tomato cat-facing, which results in fruits deforming.
Usually, it has big, leafy vines that yield lots of red, round, smooth fruits that are pretty tasty.
Apart from being disease resistant, they’re immune to the hot, humid weather. This variety yields globe-shaped red, meaty fruits with standard tomato flavors.
It bears tomatoes for fresh markets and can make salads and sandwiches. Additionally, they’re great for canning and can retain their flavor for a long time.
It’s a regular-leafed tomato plant that produces olive green-striped mahogany fruits with a complex, sweet, rich, delicious earthy flavor.
It’s a cross-breed of the 4 largest tomatoes Mr. Byles came up with. It yields slightly flattened large pink-red meaty fruits. In addition, they’re pretty flavorful and have few seeds.
Its enormous and bushy plant yields lots of bright yellow pear-shaped tomatoes, which are delicious and sweet. Moreover, the colorful tomatoes make a beautiful salad.
A red, pea-sized sweet currant holds all its fruits in a cluster until they’re all ripe. And they’re quite tasty.
Anahu is another variety that is ideal for hot, humid weather. Besides, it’s resistant to nematodes. Plus, it produces sweet, red round tomato fruits.
Do Tomatoes Like High Humidity?
Tomatoes don’t like high humidity. For optimum development, they require 65-75% at night and 80-90% during the day. More than 90% contribute to nutrient deficiency diseases like blossom end rot caused by calcium deficiency. The reason is that the plant isn’t transpiring, thus not drawing nutrients or water into its roots.
A combination of high humidity and low air movement reduces transpiration cooling leading to heat overload for the crops.
On top of that, high humidity negatively influences pollen release, causing it to clump and the stigma’s distribution. It may lead to reduced leaf sizes and fruit and flower abortion. In addition, incidences where your fruits experience blotchy ripening increase.
It also creates a conducive environment for several foliar diseases to develop. As a result, the yields and the tomatoes’ quality are lower.
You may also notice gold fleck and glassiness on the tomatoes, which is attributed to high humidity.
In addition, high humidity increases the incidences of plant diseases and mildew.
How Do You Grow Tomatoes In A Humid Climate?
The following is how you grow tomatoes in a humid climate:
- Choose The Right Variety
Go for tomato varieties like those discussed above that can thrive in a humid climate. Most importantly, ensure you choose robust and vigorous tomato plants to increase their chances of thriving.
- Plant Tomatoes In Rich Soil
Ensure you plant your tomatoes in rich, healthy soil. Growing your crops in heavy peated soil mixed with compost is ideal. In addition, you can improve your soil’s health by adding slow-release fertilizers.
Then add a liquid fertilizer during the season, carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Add Mulch
Using organic mulch such as straw, chopped leaves, shredded barks, or untreated clippings is advisable. Eventually, organic matter decomposes and helps to improve the soil. Replenish it as it breaks down.
- Water Consistently
Dry soil can lead to wilting of the foliage, your fruits shriveling, or skin splitting. Ultimately, the entire tomato plant dies.
Even with humidity in the air, the heat makes the water evaporate faster. So, it would be best to consistently water the plants in the morning or even twice if it’s too hot and your soil drains water very fast.
It helps to maintain the soil moisture content. Drip irrigation is ideal for watering your tomatoes as it ensures each plant gets watered.
- Watch For Pests And Diseases
Keep an eye out for tomato pests since plants in humid areas can’t fend off attacks easily. It’s advisable to deal with the problem immediately so that you spot them.
In addition, high heat commonly associated with high humidity causes tomato diseases to spread faster. Thus, it’s essential to remove the affected leaves immediately.
Do Tomatoes Like Heat?
Tomatoes prefer 65-85 degrees temperatures, but they stop developing when it goes beyond 95 degrees. Extreme heat stops flowers from pollinating as they dry up and eventually drop off. As a result, there’s no production of new fruits, and the ones that began changing color halts won’t turn red.
The longer the heat persists, the more the plants pause in fruit production and delay you from getting your harvests.
Additionally, you may notice the leaves curling up. Tomatoes transpire water from the leaves’ underside when the plants aren’t taking in as much water as they’re losing. Consequently, the leaves curl up, reducing the surface area for minimal water loss.
Although we can’t control the heat, you take the following steps to help protect the plants:
- Make Some Shade
One of the main characteristics of a humid climate is its scorching at times. Therefore, when planting your tomatoes, choose a spot where the plants receive sun in the morning and filtered sunlight the rest of the day.
In case your garden doesn’t have natural shade, create some. However, a shade might not be necessary if you’re not growing your tomatoes during the hottest period. Then they’ll thrive in direct sunlight as they love sunshine.
Mulching helps keep the soil’s temperature cool, especially when it’s too hot. It helps protect your plants from excessive heat.
Place 3 inches of a layer of mulch around your plants to prevent rapid evaporation of water in hot periods. As a result, it helps maintain the soil moisture content.
- Pick Your Tomatoes Early
Typically, if the temperature hits 95 degrees, tomatoes stop producing red pigments and ripen to orange. Some fruits stop ripening altogether, and you may find your tomatoes are red on the outside and green on the inside.
Therefore, if the weather forecasts a prolonged hot period, you can harvest any fruits that show a hint of ripening. Then they can continue ripening at home.
Is It Better To Water Tomatoes In The Morning Or Evening?
The ideal time to water your tomatoes is early in the morning. This way, you create an efficient routine that matches the crop’s natural biological functions.
Most importantly, don’t water your plants in the evening. Once the temperatures drop, the water becomes cold, exposing your crops to health risks.
How Often Should You Water Tomatoes In Hot Weather?
Typically, garden tomatoes require about 2 inches of water in a week and need watering daily. A deep soaking is preferable. However, the soil dries up fast when the temperatures increase. So, it’s advisable to water the crops twice a day.
Although tomatoes thrive in the sun and heat, they can die off when the temperatures soar too high. However, it doesn’t mean that gardeners in the South can’t enjoy ample tomato harvest.
Simply find the best tomatoes for hot humid weather, and you’ll have a bountiful harvest at the end of the growing season. Above, we have discussed plant cultivars that are known to do well in humid conditions.
Most importantly, take special precautions when growing the crops, protecting them as much as possible.