Gardening Through Climate Change: Tips for a Successful Tomato Crop Despite Heat, Rainfall and Nematodes
This season's tomato crop was a mixed bag for many gardeners. With climate change causing excessive heat, some experienced total disaster while others had great success. In the case of Terry, their experience was horrible with only one variety producing fruit that ripened on the vine. On the other hand, another gardener reported having grown tomatoes heavier than the current world record and they were able to produce a lot of huge fruits. Another gardener mentioned rainfall being well below average and temperatures all over the place as contributing factors to their less than stellar year.
The nematodes also played a role in some gardens, with plants not producing much or any fruit at all. The successes varied depending on the varieties planted, with Polaris being the best tasting but only producing a few small ones; Benevento F1 giving a nice crop of large, tasty striped tomatoes; Purple Boy F1 being most productive of the very tasty varieties; Picus F1 being fairly productive paste; Start F1 surprisingly sweet but tiny tomatoes; Yana very productive red determinate; Lucky Cross 17 tomatoes from the plant; AGP 64 tomatoes mostly small; Dester 51 tomatoes; King Kong 20 tomatoes with 7 over 2 lbs; Brandywine Cowlick's 37 tomatoes. Flavor wise it seemed like a good year overall.
Overall, this season has been a learning experience for many gardeners. While there have been successes and failures, it is important to take note of what worked and what didn't so that we can be better prepared for next season. It is also important to remember that climate change is real and will continue to affect our crops if we don't take steps to mitigate its effects.For those who had a successful season, it is important to remember that the success was due in part to luck and hard work. It is also important to share your successes with others so they can learn from you and have better results next year. For those who didn't have such great luck this year, don't give up! There are still things you can do for next season like rotating crops, using raised beds or containers, mulching heavily around plants and watering deeply but infrequently.
Finally, if all else fails there's always the option of buying tomatoes from local farmers markets or growing them indoors under lights during winter months when outdoor temperatures drop too low for tomato production. With some planning ahead of time and careful attention throughout the season we can all enjoy delicious homegrown tomatoes no matter what Mother Nature throws our way!
What caused my tomato crop to fail this year?
Excessive heat due to climate change is likely the main cause of your crop failure. Temperatures above 85 degrees are required for ripening, and if temperatures remain too high, it can prevent tomatoes from ripening on the vine.
Are there any ways to mitigate the effects of excessive heat on tomatoes?
You can try ripening a dozen or so at a time in a box with a banana, however these may be bland in taste. Additionally, you can try watering deeper/more frequently than usual, rotating crops, and planting varieties that are more resistant to heat.
What were some successes in tomato growing this year?
Varieties such as Benevento F1, Purple Boy F1, Picus F1, Start F1, and Yana were all successful this year. Polaris was also successful but produced fewer tomatoes.
What was the worst performing variety this year?
The worst performing variety this year was Lucky Cross which only gave 17 tomatoes from the plant.
What can I do to improve my tomato crop next season?
To improve your tomato crop next season, you should consider planting varieties that are more resistant to heat, such as the ones mentioned above. Additionally, you should rotate crops and water deeper/more frequently than usual. You should also mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and reduce weeds. Finally, you should prune off any diseased or dead leaves and stems to prevent the spread of disease.