Monday, July 19, 2010

It has been a very hot summer, so far

June was the warmest June on record worldwide, and so far July, in our area, has been very hot.

Naturally, the heat would have an effect on growing plants. The local produce growers are picking corn, tomatoes and cucumbers well ahead of their normal harvest times.

Having said that, the temperatures in the greenhouse, as one could imagine, have been even warmer than outdoors. With the door and vents open, the nighttime temperature has been averaging in the mid 70s to mid 80s, after daytime temperatures in the mid to upper nineties.

The cucumbers seemed to manage just fine, however, the tomatoes and peppers were just not up to par. The size of the fruit on my tomatoes and peppers has been smaller than normal. I am not sure but it may be due to the unusual temperate conditions, as that is the only difference this year.

We thought the MoneyMaker tomatoes were much to acidic, so I will be changing varieties for next year . Trust is one variety I would like to grow, but so far I have not been able to locate a decent price for seeds. One of the books I have on hydroponic greenhouse production of tomatoes recommended Tropic as the first choice for hobby greenhouses. I did manage to locate a good price on seeds for this variety from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I purchased 1.5 grams of seeds for a little over five dollars, and the shipping cost was very reasonable. Other vendors were charging the same amount, or more, for 10 seeds.

The plant pictured above is a Tropic that I have started as a trial. I am not sure that there will be enough time this season for this plant to produce fruit, but I felt that I could at least get an idea of how it will perform from watching the first trusses form.

Below is a description of Tropic from the seed supplier:

This variety developed by the Univ. of Florida is almost certain to grow in almost any climate. Very disease resistant, 9 oz. red fruit (with some green shoulders) is thick-walled and is excellent choice for garden or greenhouse production. Highly recommended for those areas that are hot and humid and prone to disease. Great sweet tomatoey flavors.

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