Tomato and Pepper Plant: Sun and Hail Damage


Hail damage on our tomato plants


Sun damage on a dwarf tomato plant, plus a little hail damage..

The weather has been mercurial at best lately. I planted my dwarf tomatoes into pots about 3 weeks on an overcast day. They looked beautiful. And then the sun came out. I suppose I knew that it would come out eventually. My tomato plants got sunburned. Sigh. However, the good thing is that it’s pretty much a matter of aesthetics. They will recover. If you look closely at the plant in the above picture you will see the new growth is very healthy.

The first picture is of hail damage. On May 13th we got back from Expo and it started hailing to beat the band. I had set my tomatoes out on a cloudy day to acclimate to the sun for a couple of days. And they did. But then it hailed. Not much we could do about it. I knew that they would take the brunt of it. However, we planted them anyway and they are growing out of it. Another thing about beauty being leaf deep. They will recover.

Now, you ask, how can I avoid it? For sunburn: acclimate them to the sun on a gradual basis. Put them out in the sun in the morning for a few hours, get them into shade while the midday sun is out. Extend those hours everyday. Or you can put them out on a cloudy day and hope for a few more cloudy days. Your choice.

As for the hail, once they are in the ground there isn’t much you can do except cover them with a lightweight fabric like Remay. That is available from the local nurseries and big box stores. It could also help with the sunburn.

If your plants look like mine, take heart, they will survive. Kind of makes me what to break out into that Donna Summer song. It is Donna Summer, right?


Same thing happened to our lovely peppers.