tomatoes in the tucson summer

Asked June 6, 2013, 9:31 PM EDT

Hi, I have some heirloom tomato plants that are looking really good, about 3 ft high, very bushy, lots of flowers but no fruit yet. Also 1 plant that has produced about 4 small tomatoes. I have a 30% shade over the top of the garden and 75% along the west side of the tomato plants. Several questions:

Is it now too hot for the blooms to become fruit?

The tomatoes I have gotten off the one plant are split and kind of small but very juicy and tasty. Is there a way to prevent the splitting and help them get bigger?

How much shade do they need % wise?

I am new to gardening. We have a 50 /50 mix of compost from the Ina road compost facility and sifted native soil. The garden soil goes down 24 inches. The PH is a bit high 8. I have been using miracle grow for tomatoes, and vegetables 1 time per week.

Pima County Arizona

1 Response

Hi,

Yes, day temperatures over 90 degrees F. and night temperatures over 70 degrees F. reduce fruit set in tomatoes. As few as 3 hours at 104 degrees F on two successive days may cause failure of fruit set so this week was a bad one for tomatoes.

Splitting can be caused by overwatering when the fruit is ripe. Also by too much sun. Otherwise your methods seem fine.

Peter