Best Tomato Varieties for a Hot and Humid Climate

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Last Updated on 1 year by Michelle

Finding the best tomato varieties for a hot and humid climate is something many of us work to do each year.

Our summers are consistently hot and humid here in Zone 7b/8a in western North Carolina, and I’m sure there’s a good chance they are hot and humid in summer where you are as well.

And even if your summers aren’t as hot as they are in climates farther south, I will guess you are experiencing higher-than-normal temperatures.

The information in this post will be helpful for you when you are deciding on the tomato varieties you will grow this year.

Why Are Hot and Humid Temperatures So Bad for Tomatoes?

Hot and humid temperatures can be detrimental to growing tomatoes for various reasons.

Flowers Drop During High Heat

When temperatures are too high, the plant’s flowers can fall off and fail to pollinate, resulting in fewer fruits.

High humidity also makes it difficult for pollen to travel, reducing the chances of successful pollination.

Additionally, when the plant is exposed to prolonged heat stress, it starts conserving energy to stay alive, which can delay the tomato crop.

To protect your tomato plants from extreme heat, you should provide them with shade during peak hours and ensure that they get enough water and nutrients.

High Humidity Makes Fungal Infections Take Hold and Spread

High humidity can be a major factor in causing fungal infections in tomato plants during the summer.

Fungal diseases such as anthracnose, early blight, late blight, and leaf mold are all caused by fungi that thrive in humid conditions.

Early Blight in this Mushroom Basket Heirloom Tomato Plant

These fungi produce spores that can live in the soil for many years, and when they come into contact with tomato plants, they can cause significant damage to the leaves and fruit.

High humidity also increases the risk of sunscald on tomatoes, which is caused by exposure to direct sunlight.

To prevent fungal infections, keeping your tomato plants well-watered and providing adequate air circulation around them is essential.

Ways to Reduce the Stress of High Heat and Humidity for All Tomato Varieties

Knowing how to protect your tomato plants from the heat is important as summer approaches.

One of the best ways to do this is by using landscape fabric.

Cover Tomato Plants Using Landscape Fabric During the Hottest Parts of the Month

Landscape fabric is a material that can be used to cover tomato plants (and other plants for that matter) to help keep them cool during the hottest parts of the month.

Landscape fabric comes in various materials, including woven polypropylene, non-woven polypropylene, and spun-bonded polyester.

Each type has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to research which would work best for your situation.

Woven polypropylene is often considered the most durable option, while non-woven polypropylene is lightweight and easier to install.

Spunbond polyester is also lightweight but may not be as durable as other types of landscape fabric.

Once you’ve chosen the correct type of landscape fabric for your needs, you’ll need to know how to cover your tomato plants with it.

Start by measuring out enough fabric to cover the top of each plant.

Secure each section with stakes or pins over the plants’ top so the fabric won’t fall when windy conditions arise.

The landscape fabric cost will vary depending on what type you choose and how much you need, but generally speaking, it should cost between $10-$20 per roll (usually covering about 10 square feet).

This makes it affordable to protect your tomato plants from extreme temperatures without breaking the bank!

By taking these steps and using landscape fabric during hot summer months, you can ensure your tomato plants stay healthy and productive all season long!

Water Using Drip irrigation if Possible

Tomatoes are famous for many home gardeners but can be challenging to grow in hot and humid climates.

Fortunately, drip irrigation is an effective way to ensure your tomato plants get the water they need without wasting any.

Drip irrigation systems use small tubes that run directly to each plant’s base, delivering water where it’s needed most.

This method prevents water waste by focusing irrigation on the root zone of each plant, which helps reduce moisture stress during the flowering and fruit setting stage.

It also allows you to control how much water your plants receive so that you can adjust the system depending on the weather conditions.

In addition to providing precise watering when growing tomatoes, drip irrigation systems are easy to install and maintain.

You can set up a system in a few hours with minimal effort.

Once it’s installed, all you have to do is turn it on and off as needed – no more lugging around hoses or sprinklers!

When using drip irrigation for tomatoes, keeping an eye on your plant’s needs is essential.

During the early stages of growth (when plants are less than 18 inches tall), run the system for 30 minutes every three days.

As your plants get bigger, increase the run time accordingly – usually, once every week for one hour should be enough.

Drip irrigation for tomatoes can give your plants consistent hydration throughout their growing season – even when temperatures soar or humidity levels rise!

With this method of watering, you can rest assured that your tomato plants will stay healthy and productive all summer.

Water in the morning or the evening

Hot and humid summer conditions can take a toll on your tomato plants, but there are some simple steps you can take to protect them.

One of the most important is ensuring you’re watering your tomatoes at the right time.

When it comes to watering your tomatoes, morning or evening is best.

This is because temperatures tend to be cooler, and humidity levels are usually lower during these times, allowing for better water absorption into the soil.

Also, when you water early in the day, any leaves that get wet from sprinkler drift will have plenty of time to dry off before nightfall – which helps reduce the risk of diseases such as powdery mildew and blight.

In contrast, if you water your tomatoes during the hottest parts of the day (usually late afternoon), much moisture will be lost via evaporation before it can reach its destination – namely, your tomato roots!

Not only that, but high temperatures can also end up scalding the plant leaves and making them more vulnerable to fungi and other diseases.

If you want your tomatoes to thrive during hot and humid weather, it’s best to stick with morning or evening watering sessions. This way, they’ll get just enough hydration without any extra stress!

Heirloom Varieties Do Rather Poorly in Stressful Conditions

As delicious as our favorite heirloom varieties are, they don’t hold up well against stressful conditions like the ones they face in extremely high heat and humidity. Heirlooms are known for their flavor but aren’t known for being heat tolerant.

Choose Tomato Varieties That Do Better in the Heat and Humidity

Even if you take all the actions listed above, you still may find that the heat and humidity severely reduce the performance and yields of your heirloom tomato varieties.

Therefore, you’ll want to look into specifically heat-tolerant tomato varieties.

Most of these heat-tolerant varieties result from the cross-pollination of two different tomato varieties that yield offspring that resist diseases and have increased yields.

Tomato plants have A LOT of diseases for seed companies to build resistance to, including:

Alternaria Stem Canker

Corky Root Rot

Early Blight

Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium Crown and Root Rot

Gray Leaf Spot

Late Blight

Leaf Mold


Powdery Mildew

Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus

Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus

Verticillium Wilt

I’m sure there are other diseases that seed companies need to combat, but this is a pretty exhaustive list.

Hybrid tomato varieties that grow well in excessive heat and humidity

Some of the best tomatoes for hot climates and wet or humid summers are:

  • Jolene Sets fruit in the heat when other tomatoes will not
  • Celebrity Plus
  • Skyway Large beefsteak tomato with the broadest disease package for the entire south.

These tomatoes have been bred to have a robust disease resistance package, so they are excellent choices for tomatoes that are likely to grow well in conditions other tomatoes would have difficulty with.


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Tomatoes are a delicious summertime treat but can be challenging to grow in hot and humid conditions. By choosing heat-tolerant tomato varieties and following the correct watering technique, you can ensure that your tomatoes stay healthy and productive through even the hottest summers. There are many hybrid varieties available that have been bred for their robust disease resistance, making them the perfect choice for challenging climates. With a little extra effort, you can enjoy delicious tomatoes despite the heat and humidity!



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