Are your vegetables too hot?
August 21st, 2020
This growing season has had more than its share of heat-filled days. Super-hot days don't always grow the best veggies.
Tomatoes, in particular, suffer during hot days combined with warm evenings. At 85 degrees, pollination and fruit set will be affected. At 95 degrees when nighttime temps are at 75 or above, flowers may fall off the plants. Prolonged days with high temperatures, as we have seen this year above 90 degrees, can slow ripening.
Cucumbers in heat stress can drop their blossoms, develop deformed fruit and have a bitter flavor.
For squash, peppers, melons, pumpkins and beans, successive days in the 90s may cause them to drop their blossoms and temporarily shut down.
Cool season crops such as broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and spinach will bolt in the heat. Wait to replant when cooler days are here to stay.
TLC for heat-stressed plants
- Check soil moisture often and water so soil remains uniformly moist.
- If your plants wilt during the hottest part of the day, know that this is their way of coping with the heat. You should see them perk up in the evening as temps cool.
- Apply mulch around plants to keep the soil cool and to retain moisture.