As we’ve already provided our readers with a guide on how to grow tomatoes all year round, we thought it would be a good idea to go in-depth on how to water tomato plants, as this is a question that comes up a lot.
We’ll take a look at how to water your tomato plants for the best results, if you can water them at night, when is the best time to water them and more, in this short, yet we like to think, informative little article. Let’s begin, shall we?
How much water should I give to tomato plants?
There is no easy answer to this question I’m afraid, as how much water the plants need at any given time will depend on a whole list of factors and variables. For instance, you have to consider the current and recent weather conditions and humidity, how big the plant is and how long it has been growing for, and what kind of soil you are growing in.
So what should you do? Well, I would suggest using a water gauge to get an accurate reading, and aim to get around 5cm (rough guide) of water per week to your tomato plants, but you have to consider all the factors above too and adjust as necessary. Let’s say it’s been raining hard the last few days, you’re going to need to water much less, and the opposite is also true of hot and dry spells.
if you’ve used mulch on your tomato plants, you’re most likely going to be watering less due to the water retention properties of the mulch itself.
it is important to know about these things as overwatering can damage your tomato plants.
Signs that you’ve overwatered your tomato plants
If you’re seeing your stems and leaves wilting and/or changing colour, it could be a sign that the roots are drowning in too much water. Eventually this will cause them to die and take the rest of the plant along for the ride.
In fact, if the roots are already drowned from overwatering, it might be too late to save the plant, so we suggest keeping an eye out for early signs such as marks on the leaves in the form of ‘blisters’ and the fruit appearing cracked.
Soggy or waterlogged soil is another bad sign when it comes to tomato plants, so keep your eyes peeled. If you notice the onset of these symptoms, scale back your watering immediately.
Sometimes overwatering can occur due to too much rain, so keep an eye on the weather forecast and if you’re worried about the amount of rainfall damaging your tomato plants, you can cover them with a plastic sheet until the weather gets better.
Signs that your tomato plants need watering
You should always check the soil that your tomatoes are planted in regularly to judge how dry or wet it is and water accordingly.
In addition to this there are signs that can tell you that it’s time to apply some moisture, such as the plant drooping. Now, tomato plants sometimes droop naturally in the middle of the day to reduce how much direct sunlight they receive, but then return to normal at dusk.
If you notice that they are still drooping after sunset, it’s probably a sign that you need to water them, so have another check of the soil to make sure and then give the roots a nice deep and slow watering.
How to water tomato plants
So, now we know the signs that you’re overwatering, you should feel a bit more confident about the whole watering process. As we said, there’s no hard, fast rule to a watering schedule or even how much water due to all the variables, but here are a few general tips that should help you:
In the hotter, drier months, you should stick to a watering schedule that sees you feed your plants a little H2O every couple of days if they are already fully grown. If they are new seedlings, you’ll obviously have to increase the frequency to around twice a day while still being careful not to drown the roots.
Once the weather changes, and we get into the colder parts of the year, watering once per week is enough for most tomato plants.
The best way to water tomato plants is to do so slowly. A drip irrigation system can be a great idea as it takes a lot of the thinking out of the process, but if you are going to do it by hand you need to be a bit careful.
Supply water to the roots by watering around the base of the stem. Never water directly onto the leaves themselves or you can attract unwanted guests such as disease and pests that can damage your pants.
Articles of interest
Can I water tomato plants at night?
Watering tomato plants at night is a bad idea, plain and simple. Tomato plants need heat and time to absorb the water you are giving them, and we have already talked about the dangers of overwatering above, so it should be obvious that nighttime watering is out of the question.
Watering your tomato plants at night can lead to all sorts of diseases such as tomato fungus, and blossom end rot, so stick to watering during the day so the plants can take their time soaking up the moisture before the sun goes down. Just make sure that it’s not too early, as in before sunrise, as the temperatures may be too low and you could end up hurting the plants.
Watering tomato plants is not an exact science, and a lot of it comes down to trial and error, and experience.
However, if you follow our tips and keep an eye on the pants and soil, you should be able to keep your tomato plants healthy and enjoy the delicious fruits they yield.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. Please take the time to browse our many other pages of articles and product reviews while you are here.