Shading tomato plants: Avoiding sunburn, sunscald in hot weather

During sunny hot weather the hot sun may sunburn/sunscald your tomatoes. Best to make some shade for that especially-hot-afte-2 p.m. sun if you can.

50% shade cloth works well and is simple to use. Most shade cloth sold in big box stores is about 75%. That means it filters out about 75% of the sun. 50% is better and easily purchased online.

Using 50% shade cloth, cut strips about 2-3 feet wide and about 6 feet tall. As seen in the picture, hang these strips on the outside of the cages to shield plants from the hot blistering sun. You may need 2 strips on one plant. You can leave the shade cloth hanging on the cages 24/7 for the rest of the season. This will help prevent sunscald/sunburn.

If you see that your tomatoes are getting sunburned, sometimes it’s best to pick them a little early and let them finish ripening inside. When it gets really hot, many tomato plants stop producing red pigment; instead of turning red, tomatoes will ripen an orange color.

Above picture shows sunburned/sunscalded tomatoes

You are welcome to share this information with others—family, friends and clubs, etc.

Sharing tips helps us be better growers. 

Dave Freed / 🍅 the Tomato Guy

🍅 Bumper Harvests Made Simple - Discover the secrets to cultivating tomato plants that yield over 100 lbs of fruit!

🔍 Expert Advice At Your Fingertips - Get straight-to-the-point guidance on tomato care, including:

  • Pest Control: Keep your tomatoes safe from critters.
  • Disease Prevention: Spot signs early and take action.
  • Optimal Growth Tips: Watering, sunlight, soil, and more!