shade vs sun for tomato plants

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Janice56, May 29, 2009.

  1. Janice56

    Janice56 Member

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    Location:
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    Hi All,

    I live in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. I want information regarding how much shade I need to provide my tomato plants. I've transplanted four varieties of
    10" seedlings. They're in sun most of the day which diminishes behind trees as the sun sets.

    6 seedlings have been outside in their pots for several weeks, but are now planted. The others were purchased from Provindence Farm and don't know their history. I've planted them, too.

    I just don't want them to be sunburned! Thanks.

    Janice
     
  2. onthelake2

    onthelake2 Member

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    i live in northern wisconsin and we try for full sun for tomatoes. i unfortunately have some shade and they do fine. Tomatoes like heat . and lots of fertilizer.

    hope this helps
     
  3. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    They like full sun. You may just want to shade new plants until they get established. Sunburn on tomatoes happens when they are grown in a lower light and then put directly in full sun. Even if they burn they generally recover and grow.
     
  4. monkeydog

    monkeydog Active Member

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    Tomatos are pretty resilient plants, and adaptable. I grow them in several locations that range from 4 hours of direct sun to 9 hours of direct sun. They grow and produce well in both scenarios.

    I think your plants will do excellent in full sun. You just need to stay aware of the heat factor as summer goes on. Keep them on an even watering schedule. In the middle of the hot months without much shade, you can develope problems with the fruit splitting if they get an over abundance of water followed by a period of dry with heat. So just try to keep your water even and balanced and they'll do great.
     
  5. Acoma

    Acoma Active Member

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    I agree with Monkeydog. Plants thrive though with more light then less. As for heat, they produce until hitting the 90 mark. It is as if they slow down to shutting down. In the 80's it is ideal.
     
  6. Janice56

    Janice56 Member

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    Thanks for all the advise. They have full sun and it's been quite hot - close to 90' and that was my worry. Their young still (only one flower) so I'm not worried about the fruit yet. I have 5 varieties so we will see who fairs the best. Cheers!
     
  7. Acoma

    Acoma Active Member

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    It depends on your layout and wishing to be involved with your garden. I say this because some nursuries have covering material that you can create as a top for your plants should temps become excessive for production. You would need corner rods to keep it up, and to allow you access. Ideally, you would want o-rings to allow it to slide out of the way on hours, days where this high heat is not a problem. Your garden is your pride and work, but long-term joy is worth investing short-term.
     
  8. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Yeah, although tomato plants could survive in a shadier location, the yield would be so small, in comparison to a plant grown in full sun - agree with Acoma.

    I do have one very small dwarf variety of tomato that hates full sun however and dies in it! It likes light to full shade in order to thrive. Most mater plants though, need lots of sun to put on a bumper crop!

    : )
     
  9. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Always in full sun here. Good staking good watering and feeding. We have hot dry summers. can go over 100 F quiet a few days. I noticed when daughter moved her potted minature sized tomatoes and they started to get too much shade they did not ripen as we hit autumn which is still warm in 80F yet the ones out i the sun just kept on going. The trick is to harden young plants off before you plant them out into the wide world. So straight from nursery or supermarket leave them in a warm sheltered spot for a week or two then plant them out. Usually most areas have a time of year that it is safe to plant certain things so they are not damaged by frost etc.

    Liz
     
  10. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Yes, excellent advice Liz - thank you.

    : )
     
  11. Janice56

    Janice56 Member

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    It's great to hear about everyone's experiences. I've gone from one blossom to dozens since my first message. We still have full sun and it's hot. Only the first 7 plants were exposed to the elements for a few weeks before I planted, but they all seem to be doing quite well. I go all organic for my veggies and think they're doing great. If we get too much heat this summer I can attached something to my fence posts to shade them. We have deer that could clean out a garden overnight, hence the high fence.
    Happy gardening.

    Janice
     
  12. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hope the deer don't ruin your garden this season! I would be in a panic about it!

    : O
     
  13. Acoma

    Acoma Active Member

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    Please look into shades for vegetables. When I say shade, I am not talking black canopies. There are various pourous or elastic tops of different color tones that allow certain suns rays through for growing purposes, depending on heat averages and direct light needs. Don't assume my comment of shade meant basement dark. Again, even though some will say tomato plants are good in 100+ temps, they slow or stop production in 90's plus, depending on variety. You may not see it for a few weeks, but look into your climate.
     
  14. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Location:
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    Thank you for sharing Acoma.

    My experience is that when I grow my tomatoes in any type of shade whatsoever, the yield is not as plentiful. I like to add rocks to the top of the soil, either in pots or ground, to keep my tomato roots cool. My plants don't usually suffer too much from the heat, because I keep them so well watered, and roots cool.

    I live where it is extremely hot in the summers, but each year, I seem to have more tomatoes than I know what to do with! I also like to add a few 'tums' tablets to my tomato pots for a bit of added calcium, and to help in the prevention of 'blossom end rot'.

    : )
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
  15. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    I would say the original question re sun came from a rather colder part of the world therefore as much sun as possible. I know in my childhood home we were about 1,000 feet above sea level but tomato and citrus were a real problem. They were both grown against a substantial stone wall for all the sun and warmth. Yet there were still hot summers but it cooled down at night. Where I am now same growing conditions and soil but I am only at about 800 ft and they seem to do fairly well. Down in the city the tomato are brilliant. I am in approximatley zone 9 as far as I can work out. Our Alpine areas are 7-8
    we have no zones below 7.
    http://www.anbg.gov.au/hort.research/zones.html

    Liz
     
  16. Acoma

    Acoma Active Member

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    Correct Liz. As we all agree, know your climate, micro climate, zone, elevation, sun and shade..........all for each plant's particulars.
     
  17. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    That's interesting. What is the name of this shade loving tomato?
     
  18. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Location:
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    It's called 'table', and it thrives in shade. It's a very small plant, about one foot tall, and it produces little cherry tomatoes.

    : )
     
  19. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    Table tomatoes. I wonder if it's too late to find seeds and grow for this summer. It's not listed in the West Coast Seeds catalog. The closest thing is a F1 tomato named Tumbler that matures in 55 days. It's pictured as a hanging basket plant and is recommended for partial shade.
     
  20. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Keep in mind that when they say it matures in 55 days, that is from the transplant date. The seeds have to be started about 60 days before that.
     
  21. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Yup, Jan's exactly right, but a lot of people don't realize that. They think it means the plant will be mature in precisely 55 days from the very day they drop the seed into the soil! When the seed has sprouted (which can take typically 1-4 weeks, for most seeds on average) and the plant is about 4 weeks old, then you start counting the 55 days. My tomato seeds of all varieties usually pop quite quickly, within 5-7 days. Thanks Jan, for bringing that up about mature times - good point.

    Hey, I order from West coast seeds too. I didn't buy my table tomato in seed form though. I got it at a grocery store nursery last season, but I saved seeds to grow some more this year. It is the only tomato plant I have that loves shade, and hates sun. It's also very unique to have a one foot tall tomato plant that produces cherry tomatoes, instead of the larger types.

    : )


     
  22. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Here's my $0.02 - you have it easy in Canada, especially BC, growing tomatoes. Janice, if I were you I'd put them in as much sun as you've got, and use red mulch to help boost the yield. When I lived in northern Alberta, that's what I was always trying for, and normally the fruit would just start to ripen before the frost hit and I had to hang the plants in the basement to ripen them. You've got a longer growing season, so you're probably good.

    As Liz and Acoma point out, though, to each their own climate, elevation, and mean temperatures. I am in Ecuador zone 12ish, and I can ONLY grow tomatoes in shade. In full Equatorial sun (45 C is a normal summer day), at 1800 meters above sea level, the plants stunt and stop blooming, so I am obliged to use shade cloth and really baby my tomatoes in the heat in order to keep them going. Ecuador goes up to zone 15, and we have no habitable areas below zone 10.
     
  23. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    I remember you telling me that about tomato growing in Ecuador, back when we first did our seed trade, Lorax. It's amazing that you have lived in Canada and have a full understanding of our climate as well.

    Now is that also for peppers, melons, corn, etc.? Do they need shade as well? 45 C - wow! I guess the people there would like the shade too! Now that is hot!

    : O
     
  24. Vera eastern wa

    Vera eastern wa Active Member

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    I have a different take on sun and tomatoes.
    Tomato fruits can and do get sunburned if you are a grower that prefers to stake and train your plants to have only 1-2 main vines and snip out any below that point. With this method fruits are more exposed to blistering sun for lack of the foliage cover.
    I am one who prefers to grow that way and I have better results where my plants receive sun until about 3pm avoiding the hottest part of the day here which is between 4-6pm.

    The only peppers that I know of that do best in afternoon shade or filtered light are Habanero and Rocoto especially in areas where summer humidity is low. My 3 year old Hab's receive filtered sun from about 1pm to 3pm and shade thereafter.
     
  25. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Thanks for the information on habanero because someone from this forum just recently sent me a whole whack of different varieties of them. Even some kind of Chinese type. I am going to sow them, shortly.

    It is important to note:

    Every climate is different, and people are logged on here, from all over the world. What may be proper for a plant in one climate, may not be ok in another - i.e. Lorax's tomato plants burning in sunshine in Ecuador, yet thriving in sunshine here in Canada.

    : )
     

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