Here is a little information about frost and tomato plants. I know some of you had damage with your tomatoes during last weekend. May 15th is our last day of frost...and what was Sunday morning, May 15th. What I found interesting that the cold temperature will slow the growth down and that will affect the production level of your tomato. Tomorrow I will post all the tomato varieties I have here. They are outside, getting hardened off to put into your garden. When we brought them out, the plant did wilt I call that Greenhouse wilt. But I am sure this morning they will look happier.
Taking a bite of the first ripe garden tomato of summer is an anticipated event of the warm-weather season. Tomatoes are widely grown, with more than 2,000 varieties harvested throughout the world. Unless you live in a frost-free climate, you need to prepare for when the temperatures drop if you want to preserve the frost-sensitive fruit.
It is no accident that tomatoes are associated with sun, warm weather and summer. Young plants are not planted outdoors until the risk of a spring frost has passed. For plants and fruit to develop properly, nighttime temperature should be greater than 32 degrees Fahrenheit with daytime temperatures of at least 60 F. Otherwise, plant growth with be stunted and fewer fruits produced. Even a light frost can kill tomato plants and damage their fruit. So, it is important to know the first frost date for your area.
I had been asked how much damage on the plant before I know it is time to replace? You will have to use your own judgment. Tomatoes are tender and it looks like any damage will hurt the production of that plant.
In many cases, the plant revives as long as the entire plant wasn't frozen. I'd leave them, leave the shriveled leaves on them and let them drop off when they've dried (not to cause any more possible wounds to the plant), don't fertilize them or stress them in any other way, and see if the plants put out new leaves. If they're going to make it, you should see new growth in a week or so. Maters can surprise you with their resilience.
Good luck with your tomato plants. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse from Dougherty, Iowa