Temperature tolerance of tomatoes : The best growing temperature for tomatoes

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable to grow at home. With a veritable plethora of tomato varieties, from heirloom to cherry, and every size and colour imaginable, it’s no wonder. You can find a tomato plant suitable for growing in almost any climate and environment. The warmest growing temperature for tomatoes and the lowest temperature for growing tomatoes are the eternal puzzle for the hobby gardener. The temperature tolerance of tomatoes varies from grower to grower, and there are many.

Tomato plants and temperature

Most tomatoes are warm-season plants and should be planted only after the danger of frost has passed. The tolerance of tomatoes to extremes of heat or cold is extremely important for flower development and subsequent fruit set.

Flower fall occurs in spring if daytime temperatures are warm but nighttime temperatures are below 13°C. In summer, when temperatures exceed 90 F. (32 C.) with night temperatures above 24 C.; again, the tomato plant will suffer immature fruit damage or flower loss.

In addition, when the nights become too hot, the pollen grains of the tomato flower begin to burst, which hinders pollination and prevents curdling. This is doubly true when the air is saturated with relative humidity.

The growth temperature of tomato plants should be kept constant between 58 and 60 F. (14-16 C.), whether started in the greenhouse or indoors, and not transplanted before the end of the last frost.

Cold resistant tomatoes

There are specific varieties of tomatoes grown for their resistance to cold that tolerate temperature conditions of 55 degrees F or less. (13 C.). The best options for colder climates are short- to medium-season tomatoes. Not only do these tomatoes curdle in cold weather, but they also ripen within a few days, about 52 to 70 days. One of the most popular is called Early Girl, but there are many cold-resistant varieties to choose from.

Here are some examples of hybrid tomatoes for cool climates

  • Celebrity
  • Gold nugget
  • Husky Gold
  • Pixie Orange
  • Oregon Spring
  • Siletz

Varieties of relics include:

  • Beefsteak
  • Galina
  • Glacier
  • Gregoris Altai
  • Grushovka
  • Kimberly
  • Legend
  • Manitoba
  • New Yorker

These are just a few examples. A little research should result in a dizzying list from which to choose.

Heat tolerant tomato varieties

Just as there are those who live in cooler climates, there are also those who live where the temperature conditions reach the most extreme heat index. There are also varieties of tomatoes grown for these conditions.

Here are some examples of heat-tolerant hybrids

  • Beautiful rose
  • Big meat
  • Florida
  • July 4th
  • Grape
  • Heat wave
  • Dwelling house
  • Manalucia
  • Mountain ridge
  • Goalkeeper
  • Sanibel
  • Solar fire
  • Spitfire
  • Sunbeam
  • The Jumping Sun
  • Sun Hunter
  • Sunmaster
  • Super Fantastic
  • Sweet 100

Relics include:

  • Arkansas Traveler
  • Costoluto Genovese
  • Green Zebra
  • A quarter of a century
  • Sioux
  • Super Sioux

Protection of tomatoes against frost

In addition to planting cold-resistant tomato varieties, some frost protection can be provided by using mulch or heat-retaining plastic covers to keep the fruit warm if the temperature drops below 13°C. Dark plastic covers raise the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees, while light plastic covers heat the tomatoes up to 20 degrees. This could be enough to save the tomato crop.

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