It isn’t always easy to grow tomatoes in hot, humid regions. The high heat often means you get no fruit set but then again when it rains, the fruit tends to crack. Fear not warmer climate denizens; try growing Solar Fire tomato plants. The following article contains information on Solar Fire tomatoes including tips on Solar Fire tomato care.
Solar Fire Information
Solar Fire tomato plants have been developed by the University of Florida to take the heat. These hybridized, determinate plants yield medium sized fruit that is perfect for slicing into salads and on sandwiches. Sweet and full of flavor, they are an excellent tomato variety for the home grower who lives in hot, humid, and wet areas.
Not only are Solar Fire tomato plants heat tolerant, but they are crack resistant and resistant to verticillium wilt and fusarium wilt race 1. They can be grown in USDA zones 3 to 14.
How to Grow a Solar Fire Tomato
Solar Fire tomatoes can be started planted in the spring or summer and take approximately 72 days to harvest. Dig or till in about 8 inches (20 cm.) of compost prior to planting. Solar Fire tomatoes like a slightly acidic to neutral soil, so if need be, amend alkaline soil with peat moss or add lime to highly acidic soil.
Select a site with full sun exposure. Plant the tomatoes when the soil temperature has warmed to over 50 degrees F. (10 C.), spacing them 3 feet (1 m.) apart. Since this is a determinate variety, provide the plants with a tomato cage or stake them.
Solar Fire Care Requirements
Care when growing Solar Fire tomatoes is nominal. As with all tomato plants, be sure to water deeply each week. Mulch around the plants with 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm.) of organic mulch to help retain moisture. Be sure to keep the mulch away from the plant stem.
Fertilize Solar Fire with a tomato fertilizer at the time of planting, following the manufacturer’s instructions. When the first blooms appear, side dress with a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Side dress again two weeks after the first tomatoes are harvested and again one month after that.