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I have land in India (the tropics), in the hills, on a slope from 6800 feet - 5200 ft altitude (roughly). At that lowest point there's a stream of about 10-15m across. Generally my entire land is a very sunny area, high UV radiation, though not hot like the tropical plains-- it's more Mediterranean perhaps, or maybe like some of the Andean highlands, plus a relatively less intense monsoon than the surrounding region (it rarely crosses 28C even in summer, usually hangs around 20-25C during the day. In Winter, it drops to a minimum of 7C, and hangs around 13-19C during the day. I don't know how many hours those min-max numbers are sustained over).

My question is: if I were to try to grow Lavender, Tomatoes or other european herbs and plants (our weather/soil in a general sense seems suited to many of these).. plants that are defined as needing "full sun", do I need to reduce the hours usually suggested because of the tropical sunlight and high UV? If yes, is there a way to calculate that or perhaps some sort of thumbrule?

EDIT: When I say tomatoes, I mean San Marzano, Roma etc.

  • Tomatoes are not European plants. UV: I do not think tropics have more UV (on contrary: pollution, sea level, humidity). UV is very dependent on altitude, and most European plant growth also on (Southern) mountains. We use green houses to add heat (and because we are Northern of tropics, we have more sun in summer). – Giacomo Catenazzi Mar 18 at 9:08
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi I am aware that toamtoes are originally from central america. However, I am speaking specifically about San Marzano tomatoes, for instance, which I understand are best suited to a mediterranean climate? I should have clarified that. Also, I didn't say that I have more UV because it's tropical, I;ve checked the UV levels from nearby data and its relatively very high, and I'm at a higher altitude, as I've mentioned. – kladhest Mar 18 at 11:55
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Many European herbs are originally Mediterranean-region plants and will thrive in hot dry conditions with poor soil. Bright sun will increase the amount of essential oils etc that the plants produce.

Tomatoes may be a problem, because they need a lot of water. If you can't set up an irrigation system, you may need to water them two or three times each day, 7 days a week.

Remember that in the tropics you get fewer hours of sun in summer than further north, even if the intensity is higher. Where I live (in the UK, latitude 53N) there is almost 17 hours of sunlight each day at midsummer, and daytime temperatures can reach 30C.

The difference in sunlight may not be so big as you think. At 53N, in midsummer at noon the sun is 60 degrees above the horizon, compared with 67 degrees on the equator. Of course in midwinter it is only 14 degrees above the horizon, and there are only 7 1/2 hours of sunlight per day.

  • Thanks for your answer. Does the level of UV radiation play a role in deciding how much I should adjust sun exposure in my place vs the recommended levels in more "normal" zones? – kladhest Mar 17 at 18:58

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