Tomato Plants Wilting Due to Cold Weather

In coastal regions that drop into U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 8, 9 and 10, frost damage isn’t as common due to the warm winter temperatures. After spring planting begins, threat of frost has generally passed. However, cold weather may harm brand new plants and cause the decline of mature plants. Protecting tomatoes from winter’s chill will extend the life of the plant and increase crop production.

Symptoms of Cold Damage

Wilting is just one of several indications of damage from cold or frost. Newly transplanted tomatoes might have olive green and yellowing leaves, with a purplish bottom. Leaves on more based tomato crops will turn black and wilt. These blackened leaves might be pinched off, but leaves which are still green will recover if warmer temperatures return.

Protecting Tomatoes In Frost

Frost damage is simply a danger at the beginning of the growing season, and at the finish. If you planted tomatoes really early in the spring, or if you want to extend the growing season of the tomato plant into the fall, you can prevent frost damage with resources like blankets and technical covers. Although household blankets are a frequent tool used to protect plants, blankets can worsen the problem by trapping cool atmosphere beneath them if they become wet. Specialized garden covers don’t have this effect. Some covers have been designed specifically to absorb heat during the day and will radiate heat at night after the sun has gone down. Furthermore, some technical garden covers may be left draped over a plant for several days at a time. Checking nightly forecasts will tell you if those covers should be used.

Sheltered Locations Prevent Damage

If you’re a gardener who knows that you want to cultivate your tomato plants after into the growing season, container gardening may be suitable for you. Containers permit you to transfer tomatoes to safety on chilly nights. If you prefer to cultivate your tomatoes in the ground, you can plant your tomatoes near a wall having a southern exposure. Southern exposures get the daylight while sunlight is out, and at night the wall will radiate heat back into the atmosphere near the plant.

When to Plant

To avoid the chance of frost damage at the time of planting, tomato seedlings are best planted when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit, notes that the University of Missouri Extension. It is possible to assess the temperature of the soil using a soil thermometer, available at nurseries and home and garden centres.

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