One of the most common garden additions is a tomato plant. While they are a delicious delight to consume when appropriately grown, finding tomatoes that are just the right shade of ripe can take time and effort. Avoiding under or over-watering them while developing is the secret to growing them successfully.
I have a few tomato plants in my garden, and when I started, I tried to make sure that my plants would turn out okay. That made me study deeply how best to water and grow tomatoes. The secrets I learned are what I am about to teach you in this article.
How Often Should You Water Your Tomatoes?
Especially if the plants are mulched, garden-grown tomato plants require less frequent watering than those produced in pots. Whether you plant in raised beds or an in-ground garden depends on the weather and soil type. As opposed to in-ground garden beds, raised beds to tend to dry out more quickly.
Compared to plants grown in garden beds, tomato plants grown in pots, planters, and other containers require more frequent watering. They are raised above the ground and exposed to direct sunlight on their tops and sides. Additionally, compared to tomatoes grown in garden beds, there is less soil available to the roots of tomatoes planted in pots. Growing tomatoes in containers have advantages. The main benefit is a decrease in illnesses like verticillium and fusarium wilt.
The size of the plant, the type and size of the container, the growing media, and the weather affect how frequently tomato plants planted in containers need to be watered. My newly transplanted tomato seedlings require less watering in the late spring than my late-July tomato plants. Although the weather is cooler, the young plants are smaller and consume less water than a fully established plant. Mid-summer plants are maturing and starting to bear fruit. Those potted plants probably need daily watering when the summer weather is hot and dry because their root system is dense and thirsty.
How To Water Tomato Plants
There are numerous techniques you can use to water tomato plants. The most crucial factor is ensuring they get the appropriate water. The following include the methods for watering your tomato plants:
- Watering Can
If you use a watering can as your tool, choose the type with a rose spout for effective results. This type is made to disperse the water in several smaller streams compared to the larger ones. This is effective and better as a more significant stream might displace the plant’s soil for its growth. Compared to watering from above the plant, watering directly at the plant’s roots can help keep disease and pests at bay.
You can also opt to use a hose to water your tomato plants. For the same reasons as previously, if you decide to water your tomato plants with a hose, you should attach a nozzle or watering wand to make the water flow out slowly and softly. To water all of your tomatoes at once, use a soaker hose. Along the length of the hose, tiny pores leak water. Position the hose to pass each plant’s base, then turn on the water. This would save you time and effectively reach your plants simultaneously.
- Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation is also one of the most effective ways to water your tomato plants. Water is run through little tubes at each plant’s base for this procedure. The water is transported directly to the plant’s roots, making it effective. It also makes it simple to guarantee that all your tomato plants receive the same water. Connect your drip lines to your irrigation timer for optimal ease. Then schedule them to run for at least a few minutes on specific days and times. When necessary, modify the plan or add manual watering.
When watering tomato plants, this may seem a very convenient option, but actually, it is the least favorable of all.
Sprinklers irrigate plants from above, spraying water onto the foliage. This raises the possibility that pests and illnesses will harm your tomatoes. The liquid evaporates quickly, depriving your plants of the moisture they require to flourish.
How To Water Your Tomato Plants
Watering your tomatoes doesn’t have to be hectic for you as long as you follow these tips meticulously. I followed these tips, and they worked for me, and I am sharing them with you so you can follow them and achieve your results:
- Water your plants slowly and deeply to establish deep and healthy roots.
- Water your plants in the morning. This keeps the soil moist throughout the heat of the day.
- Make sure you constantly water at the base. Watering from above is a direct invitation for disease and pests.
- Because they dry out quickly, always check tomatoes growing in pots.
- Remain consistent in your pattern of watering. Fluctuation in your water supply will lead to blossom end rot and cracking.
- Depending on the weather, tomatoes need 1 – 2 inches of water weekly.
Growth Stage Watering Needs
Depending on where they are in their growth stage, tomatoes require different amounts of watering. You may modify your watering schedule to meet their needs at each stage by learning a little about each one.
If you want tomato plants to thrive effectively past this stage, you must give them enough water when they are seedlings. Ensure the soil is moist and deep in the ground so healthy roots can form quickly. You can use a spray bottle when watering your seedlings. 4 – 5 squirts is enough.
- Young Transplants
Give your young tomatoes a thorough soak after relocating them to the garden. Repeat the soak when the soil is dry while keeping an eye on the moisture level. At this moment, consistency is vital.
- Mature Tomatoes
The water around the base of your plants as they mature to keep the moisture within. Watch the weather closely. Give them more frequent waterings if it gets scorching. Avoid watering or water less if it rains. Place a rain gauge nearby to track the amount of water your tomatoes receive.
- Fruiting Plants
To guarantee that the tomatoes you are starting to see turn out well, keep a very close eye on them throughout the day. Continue to monitor for signs of over or underwatering. Fruit that is overwatered at this time may crack or decay. Low fruit yield could be the effect of underwatering.
Trouble Signs In Tomatoes
Tomato irrigation is a complex science. The best action is to watch for warning indications that you are feeding them too much or too little water and adjust as you go.
The following are signs of underwatering:
- Curling tomato leaves
- Wilted leaves in the morning
- Dry soil
- Stunted growth
Try significantly increasing the water you provide them if you see these symptoms. You’ll eventually discover the ideal balance between too much and insufficient water.
Overwatering signs in tomatoes include:
- Yellow leaves
- Soggy soil
- Cracked or rotting fruit
- Plant showing signs of disease
- Dark roots
If you see these indicators, reduce your watering somewhat. Maintain the same schedule, but start each time with less water.