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In a quest to find more tomato varieties suited to the hot-summer Central Valley, I’m starting to grow varieties bred for heat tolerance. Up first is ‘Heatwave’, a healthy specimen of which I picked up on impulse at Home Depot.

Our summer days often exceed 90 degrees, which is around the temperature at which tomato fruit set fails for certain tomato varieties.

From UC VRIC: “When daytime temperatures consistently exceed 90OF, fruit set failure may also be expected in many tomato varieties. Some varieties are more tolerant of high temperatures and will continue to set fruit when others fall. Under these conditions, it will be helpful to keep the plants in a healthy growing condition so that flowers which develop will have a better chance to survive. This includes the maintenance of a constant moisture supply, the elimination of damaging insects, and the control of diseases. Fruitsetting hormones are not effective in hot weather.”

My ‘Heatwave’ baby was grown by Bonnie Plants. Here’s their description:

Heatwave VFFA
Fruit size: 8 oz
Matures: 70 days

An abundant producer of bright red fruit even when the temperature is in the mid 90s, Heatwave hybrid produces early in the season on determinate vines. Resistant to verticillium wilt (V), fusarium wilt races 1 and 2 (F), and alternaria stem canker (A).


But how does it taste? Stay tuned.

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