Hang in there! According to the weather apps, we are almost into the monsoon season here in Santa Fe. Historically it starts around the second week of July-let’s hope so. I for one am looking forward to it-we need the rain plus I would like to see my plants.
So be patient if you have your tomato plants covered with row cover. Some of you may be tempted to take them off early but we’ve waited this long and we are almost there.
The row cover is providing protection for your plants by acting as a physical barrier between your plants and the beet leafhopper that carries a deadly virus called Curly Top Virus (CTV) if it bites your tomato plants. Some of you haven’t done this and you may be lucky or not. You will know in about 3 weeks. But the good news is the bug either leaves or gets suppressed when the monsoons come in earnest and only then do I take off the row cover. I wait till it’s gone. Growing tomatoes should not be this hard, but it is here in the southwest. The northeast coast has their Late Blight (which is worse) and we have CTV.
I’ll post when I take the row cover off the plants and we can actually enjoy watching them grow and produce tomatoes!
That really is too much work to grow tomatoes! It should be easier.
I use row covers for sun protection but have found they hold in heat. I am using the lightest row cover available. So I leave an opening at the top to let out some of the collected heat. Of course this does not keep the leafhopper away from the tomato plants.
Row cover is great for sun protection, hail protection (somewhat) and as a physical barrier for the leafhopper if completely enclosed. I use medium weight on all my tomatoes and have never had a heat problem inside the cages. If you are experiencing heat problems, perhaps you haven’t been watering enough with all the heat? How often and for how long were you watering during our heat wave? However the winter weight row cover IS too heavy and could cause heat problems if you accidentally use it in the summer.