Q.How do I grow tomatoes in super hot, changeable weather?
I live in Sunset Zone 19, in a San Fernando Valley suburb of Los Angeles. I never had problems until the last few years. The weather changes more abruptly now, and very hot temperatures arrive earlier and erratically. I rotate tomatoes to new garden areas yearly, keep them watered but not over-watered, provide shade cloth on the hottest days (or they die quickly). I am not having much success in ground, in wooden half whiskey barrels, or raised beds on two different residential properties that are 10 miles from each other. I’ve tried different varieties as well. My soil is good. What do you suggest I try this year to have tomatoes this summer instead of dead or unproductive leggy plants? I will be using more established, larger plants this year (I’m much later this year as I almost skipped trying again). I hope it’s not a bust again this year. I am a lifelong organic gardener.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Try planting earlier before temps get so hot and later for a fall garden. Tomatoes generally don't set fruit when temps get into the 90s. However, there are certain varieties that are more heat tolerant. See below: