High Nighttime Temperatures Can Affect Fruiting
Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Lots of calls are coming to Extension offices about vegetable plants that have lush and plentiful foliage but are not setting fruits, especially beans and tomatoes. There are several factors at play. One is high night time temperatures. Tony Melton explains that plants cool themselves by a process called transpiration – basically sweating. Special structures called stomata, located on the underside of leaves, function like windows – opening in the daytime so that plants can take in ambient air with the carbon dioxide necessary for photosynthesis. They also can open these structures to release water vapor which evaporates and cools the plants. When night temperatures are high, plants can’t rest but must continue to transpire, using stored carbohydrates for energy to continually move water from the roots to the leaves, carbohydrates that would otherwise be used to make fruits and vegetables.