Temperature and tomato sets?

Is there a relationship???
I have 3 plants in 3 gallon pots that are well over 4 ft. tall now and I got a few sets about a month ago. They started blooming about mid-January when it first started warming up.
I have about 7 sets that are anywhere from 1" to 2" across and the "Fourth Of July" variety vine has just finally thrown a BUNCH of new sets this week. They are anywhere from BB size to nearly 1/2" already! The other two vines are not nearly as prolific yet but are not blooming as much as this one is either. I kept the tags to check to see which ones produced best under these conditions.
They are three different varieties, but the other difference is that the other two are on milk crates while the one going bazerk is on the ground. It may have rooted into the ground thru the pot holes, but I've not checked yet. I just suspect it.
The one that is doing so well is also on the West side of the greenhouse and the other two are on the east side so don't get quite as much sun.
These were planted early last November in one of my new "cheapie" pop-up greenhouses (8' x 8' x 7') and kept from freezing with a single 75 watt lightbulb that ran at night.
They have some of the most lush foliage that I've ever seen on a tomato plant. :-)
When I water these, should I avoid getting the leaves wet? I think all the rain we had last summer is what blighted my poor plants I had outside last summer.
I'm sure that daylight length affects bloom cycles (was hoping the light at night would counter that and give me winter fruit but it was not to be) so am wondering if overall temperature affects fruiting?
I'm still trying to figure out a way to get fruit in the winter with greenhouse tomatoes, so might have to add a fixture for full spectrum lighting and a timer, and maybe a heat source?
Might be too expensive in the long run, but it would be a fun experiment. :-)
How long should protected vines like these live???
TIA! Katra
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K.

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Temperatures above 55F for at least part of the night are required for the first fruit set. Night temperatures above 75F in the summer months inhibit fruit set. Tomatoes are self pollinating, but do seem to appreciated being lightly tapped to facilitate the process.
The book I have says that indeterminate tomato plants will continue to grow and produce until killed by disease or frost. Who knows if you keep them in the greenhouse. Most of my determinates have lasted as long as the indeterminates. Don't know if they would have continued to produce in a greenhouse. Give it a try.
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Susan N.

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Yes, been trying to go in there and do that when I see new flowers. :-) I'll have to make sure I keep all the vents and doors open then when the weather warms up.

I will, and will also be sure to report! So, what do the terms "determinate" and "Indeterminate" mean? Those are new to me. ;-o
Thanks! Kat
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Determinate tomato plants produce all of their fruit at the same time (approximately.) Think commercial growers who will pull the plant when the tomatoes are ready and take to whole thing at once.
Indeterminate keep growing and producing until the plant dies from disease or frost.
What varieties are you growing?
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Susan N.

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Thank you! :-) One of the guys at work was asking about those terms too. I'll pass this on.

I have one "Patio", one "Blush Goliath" and a "Fourth of July". Those are the three in the greenhouse. The BG is a really thick stemmed plant with big lovely leaves. The FOJ is producing the most at the moment, and is also the tallest. It's going to be a trick tying it up! Since these houses have interntal tent pole type supports, I think I can get a fabric tie around the poles to help tie it to the ceiling.
I want to use fabric instead of metal or wire so I don't damage the greenhouse fabric.
I also have babies that I bought that are still in their 6 pack pots. I'll get them into containers tomorrow. I'm going to do all container tomatoes this year so I can control their water a bit better. I have 3 and 5 gallon pots for them, and stakes. I'll put the pots along the main garden border in full sun and will use the main bed for stringbeans and those brocolli and cauliflowers I bought, and a few squashes.
The 6 pack babies are Roma and Beefsteak. :-)
I've not grown Beefsteaks in YEARS and am excited about it! Romas are my favorite standby. I'm skipping the sweet 100's this year...
Thanks! Kat
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I have to disagree that fruit set is inhibited above 75degees. My experience is that optimum fruit set is actually between 75 and 85 degrees.
Have fun
Jim
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NIGHT temperatures
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wrote:

In our AZ desert, the upper temperature limit for most varieties to set fruit is around 90 deg F. But cherry types will go a bit higher. We can prolong fruit set by applying afternoon shade. I have had shaded Sun Golds bear all summer when daytime temps always exceeded 105 deg for more than 2 months straight but that is a bit unusual. Rule of thumb here is 90 deg but that varies a bit depending on the variety. Olin
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I saw the NIGHT. I still disagree. It is not just the night temperature but the day time high temp that most influences the set. In humid conditions one can have less than a 10 degree difference between the low and high temperature. Most tomatoes will set find below 92 degrees. Have fun and may all your blooms set.
Jim
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