frost kill tomato plants?|
George Headgrave - 23rd April
Can frost damage your tomatoes?
In short, yes, frost will damage and potentially kill tomato plants. Tomato's are a tropical type of plant,
hence they enjoy warmer temperatures and are less resilient to the colder weather.
Therefore the planting of tomato's is essential to their
survival, optimum planting time ranges from March till June. A rule of thumb is; the colder your
temperatures, the later you should plant. For example, if you live in England, it may be best to
leave it later.
Why does frost kill tomatoes?
As tropical plants, tomatos are highly sensitive to cold weather such as frost, this is especially common with
the younger seedlings. When frost occurs it causes the tissues within both the tomato leaf and tomato fruit to
burst, essentially killing the plant.
As long as the main stem of the tomato plant remains unharmed the plant can continue to regrow tomatoes. So, to
a certain extent, you can have unlimited leaves or fruits damamged, as long as the main stem remains intact.
Prevent frost killing tomato plants
One easily implemented method to protect your tomatos from frost damage is to check the weather forecast the
night before. If a frost is expected or you see low temperatures, you can cover the tomatos using a
blanket, an old used bedsheet or a cardboard box overnight and then remove
early in the morning. This will help to keep the heat in overnight and stop frost affecting
Looking for a more permenent solution to frost damage?
A popular alternative to the "blanket" approach are Frost Protector Bags, specifically designed
to keep out the frost and protect your tomatoes. My experience with them has been 50/50, they kept out the frost
and i never had any damage, but they were quite expensive.
Veggie Cage & Tomato Frost Protector Bags -(2) Cages and (2) Green