Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot weather reduces vegetable yields

Recent high temperatures have caused many home vegetable gardens to experience a drop in production. Tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and beans have been particularly hard hit. Blossom end rot, seen left, is a common problem in tomatoes that often occurs during hot weather. Blossom end rot occurs when plants are not able to move enough calcium into their developing fruits. This disorder also occurs in peppers, eggplant, melons, and squash. Other hot weather problems that reduce vegetable yields include blossom drop and poor pollination. Home gardeners can help reduce yield loss during heat waves by keeping their vegetable gardens evenly watered, mulching to conserve moisture, and by avoiding high nitrogen fertilizers.

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