It seems that you will not please summer residents: in the heat they complain about drought, the need for regular watering, about “burning”, “boiled” vegetables in the sun. And in the cold summer, they complain about dampness and slow growth of fruits. In fact, low temperatures and prolonged rainfall negatively affect the health and growth of plants, including tomatoes..
What threatens tomatoes in a cold summer:
- Plants do not bush well.
- Late blight occurs more often.
- Fruits ripen slowly, remain brown or pinkish.
Of course, these problems can be avoided initially. If rainy and cold summers are not uncommon in your area, then you should prepare in advance:
- Build tall, warm beds.
- Buy tomato seeds or seedlings that are resistant to late blight and ripen quickly.
If the cold summer comes as a surprise to you, you can help tomatoes as follows:
- Try to thin out the seedlings, because in conditions of high humidity, tightness will be especially destructive for plants, there will be practically no space for fruit growth.
- Shake off the drips from the bushes after the rain, very carefully, it is better to use a flexible branch.
- Lateral shoots should be pinched.
- It is better to remove the leaves above the tomatoes, as well as the tops. This should be done in the second half of summer, so that the fruits are in the sun and ripen faster.
- Be sure to tie up not only tall, but also medium-sized tomatoes so that the fruits do not end up on wet and cold ground – in this case, you will definitely lose them.
- It is advisable to cover the bed with tomatoes with a semicircular canopy made of film, which is stretched over the frame. Let the bottom of the bushes remain open. There are specialized covering materials with a minimum density that will help raise the temperature in the garden. They let in sunlight well.
- Pick ripe tomatoes in time, do not leave them outside. Sometimes you can pick brownish fruits that will “reach” in a box set in a warm place.
In the cold summer, tomatoes will need special feeding. Experienced gardeners advise using this method: add a liter of kefir or low-fat milk and 10 drops of an alcohol solution of iodine to 10 liters of water. For each tomato bush, use a liter of this mixture. Bordeaux liquid will help fight the first signs of fungal diseases. Read about how to deal with late blight, what drugs to use and how you can try to prevent the disease, read our article.
Another big problem for gardeners in a rainy summer is weeds. They literally spill out of the ground after every rain, and it is very difficult to weed out wet soil. To prevent weeds from clumping into your garden, do not forget about mulching. This is the easiest and most effective way not only to keep the beds clean, but also to protect plants from many diseases. It is better to use hay for mulch, because hay sticks reproduce well in rotten grass – the natural enemy of late blight.
If the weed nevertheless sprouted in some places even through mulch (this is possible if the layer is too thin), then you will have to pull it out manually. Don’t forget galoshes and gloves only! In the cold summer, the treatment of beds and aisles of tomatoes with wood ash will also help. We hope that our simple tips will help you get a rich tomato harvest, even if summer is in no hurry to indulge in hot weather, and the rains are frequent.