Tomatoes and Heat

Here in the Inland Northwest, we have gone from 50 something degrees to 99 degrees in a matter of days it seems. Not only does that play havoc with our human bodies but it can have consequences in our gardens.

The common miconception is that tomatoes love heat, the hotter the better. Not so much. High temperatures can cause several problems with tomato production. One of them is “tomato blossom drop.” The tomato blossoms “dry up and fall off the plant before a fruit is formed.”  

 “Tomatoes grow best if daytime temperatures range between 70 F and 85 F. Tomato plants can tolerate more extreme temperatures for short periods, but after several days or nights with temps outside the ideal range, the plants start to focus on survival not producing fruit. High nighttime temps are even worse than high daytime temperatures because the tomato plant never gets to rest.”

 Another tomato response to extreme heat involves its leaves. Just as they respond to very cold temps and lots of moisture with their leaves, you will  notice that some tomato varieties also respond to heat by curling their leaves. That’s a defensive mechanism that attempts to slow transpiration (evaporation from the leaf surface) of water from plant to atmosphere. 

 Specific temperatures at which blossom drop begins will vary from variety to variety. If you experience this, all is not lost, they will eventually snap out it. Water thoroughly early in the morning or put a drip system on at night to keep them well hydrated. Mulch to help retain their moisture. And pray for more temperate weather!Image

Gracious Living and Other Things


Where did May go? This morning I went out sight seeing while my roommate got ready. I went into historic Beuafort, (there’s always a historic district in each town here) and looked at some of the antebellum homes. They aren’t the Biltmore, (but then nothing is quite like that 55 bedroom castle), but they were every bit as stunning. The symbols of gracious living amongst giant oak trees swathed in spanish moss. Broad verandas, sweeping staircases, windows on every level, probably for the breezes, and usually a gate of some sort around it, wrought iron or stone. Most of them with their backyards overlooking the salt marshes and river. I pictured sweet southern women in crinolines and corsets, drinking mint juleps, the men smoking cigars under giant fans.



Not to be outdone, this house was one I spotted in Georgia

Bits and Pieces

Camo is big here in clothing lines. I actually saw a guy dressed in camo sweat pants and tee shirt. The tee shirt I get, the sweat pants? Complete with elastic at the ankle.

We are still in the Bible belt. Lots of different varieties of Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, and non-denominational churches, probably pentecostal. Little churches tucked away in a glade.

Have I complained about the heat yet? hmmmmm I don’t know how people live here. It’s pretty but I wouldn’t want to  go outside in the summer. And I’m an outdoors kind of girl.