Summer Set Tomato Care – How To Grow Summer Set Tomatoes In The Garden

Summer Set Tomato Care – How To Grow Summer Set Tomatoes In The Garden

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Tomato lovers who grow their own are always in search of the plants that produce perfect fruits. Summer Set heat resistance is such that even when temperatures are at their hottest it will set fruit, making it an excellent choice for southern gardeners. Try growing Summer Set tomatoes and enjoy fist sized, juicy fruit into the end of the growing season.

Summer Set Tomato Info

Tomato plants often abort flowers when temperatures are too high. To prevent this problem, selecting a breed that is resistant to heat is recommended. The Summer Set variety is both heat and humidity resistant. These are two of the harshest conditions in which to grow tomatoes, often resulting in flower loss and cracking on any tomatoes that do form. Here are some tips on how to grow Summer Set tomatoes and finally reap a bumper crop of fruit.

In areas with daytime temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 C.) and 72 F. or higher (22 C.) at night, fruit can fail to form on tomato plants. Summer Set heat resistance can include those temperatures and still perform beautifully. This breed and others are known as “heat-set” or “hot-set” tomatoes.

With climate change, growing Summer Set tomatoes may be useful even in northern climates where summer temperatures have begun to get hotter. Summer Set is best as a fresh tomato in sandwiches and salads. It has a firm, juicy texture and sweet ripe flavor. The plants are known as semi-determinate but will require staking.

Start seeds indoors in flats 6 weeks before the last frost date. Wait until plants have two sets of true leaves before planting outdoors.

Select a sunny location and amend soil with organic material, loosening it deeply to accommodate roots. Harden off transplants for a week before putting in the ground. Plant deeply, even up to the bottom couple of leaves to allow for a nice root mass and where temperatures are cooler, allowing the plant to establish more quickly.

Keep plants consistently moist and stake as needed. Mulch with organic or plastic sheeting to keep moisture in soil, prevent weeds and keep soil cool.

Summer Set Tomato Care

Feed plants with a formula made for tomatoes that is high in phosphorus once blooming initiates. This will promote flowers and fruit.

Water under the leaves at the root zone for deeper penetration and to prevent wet leaves and fungal issues. Use a homemade, safe fungicide of 4 teaspoons (20 ml.) baking soda, 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) mild dish soap and 1 gallon (3.79 liters) of water. Spray on leaves and stems during an overcast period.

Watch for tomato hornworms and aphids. Hand pick hornworms and destroy them. Combat smaller insects with horticultural oil sprays.

Harvest Summer Set when fruit is firm but brightly colored. Store in a cool location but not the refrigerator which causes flavor to break down.

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