Tomatoes are delicious and healthy fruits that can be grown at home. Most people run to the store to buy a couple, and either slice them for salads or put them on sandwiches. However, you can grow them yourself.
Once you’ve figured out the soil needs, you may wonder about watering tomato plants. Is there anything in particular you need to do? We’re going to explain it all so that you know when and how to water your tomatoes effectively.
Table of Contents
- When Is the Best Time to Water Tomato Plants?
- How Much Water Do Tomato Plants Need?
- 5 Pro Tips on Watering Tomatoes
- How Often to Water Tomato Plants?
- Watering Tomato Plants in Pots or Containers
- Watering Tomato Plants While on Vacation
When Is the Best Time to Water Tomato Plants?
Most people believe that they can water their tomatoes at any time during the day. The rule of thumb is not to water during the hottest part of the day, so you can do it in the morning or at dusk.
However, for tomato plants, the best time to water them is in the early morning house. That way, any moisture that gets on the leaves can dry up before it gets too hot. This can keep the plants from burning or scorching and can also prevent diseases from forming.
Watering at night could cause problems for the plant. They could become more susceptible to tomato fungus, root loss, blossom end rot, or reduced fruit production.
How Much Water Do Tomato Plants Need?
If you’ve recently planted your tomatoes, you need to ensure that the soil is very moist, so it promotes growth. Early in its growing season, you should water the tomatoes daily and in the morning. As the temperatures get warmer, you may even need to water the tomato plants two times a day.
Generally, garden tomatoes need about 1 to 2 inches of water each week. However, it’s not ideal to dump that much water one time and expect greatness. Instead, you should only water the tomato plants until the soil is moistened.
Ultimately, at the end of the week, you’ve put down up to 2 inches of water each day. Make sure you’re checking the plants every morning and evening. If they seem dry or parched, go ahead and water them again.
You’ve also got to factor in any rainwater. After it rains, you may not need to water the plants for a few days. Just keep checking the moisture level to determine when you should start watering the tomatoes again.
5 Pro Tips on Watering Tomatoes
It’s important to water tomatoes like a professional. That way, you get juicy, delicious tomatoes all season long.
1. Water Slowly
The primary goal of watering the tomato plants is to make sure they’ve got enough to sustain themselves and perform their growing activities. Therefore, when you’re watering, you don’t need to flood the plant. This is going to cause most of the water to fall away and take the topsoil and nutrients with it.
Instead, it’s better to water the plants slowly so that the water has time to get into the soil. Make sure the water is getting 6 to 8 inches below the soil to moisten it. That can stimulate more root growth, which relates directly to how many nutrients the tomato gets.
Consider putting in a drip irrigation system. This ensures that the soil stays moist all the time. However, it doesn’t flood the roots, and they can still breathe.
2. Water the Plants Regularly
There is no special formula out there as to how often you need to water the tomato plants. That’s something you’re going to have to think about based on previous experiences. Just make sure that you’re regularly checking the soil and notice when it’s going dry.
If you notice that it dries out too fast, consider adding some mulch to the area. You can also try another watering method, such as the drip irrigation method.
It also depends on the region. Sometimes, the plants only have to be watered once a day. In other locations, you may be watering them two or more times. Pay attention, and don’t water tomato plants that are already moist.
Plant drooping during the day is normal. It’s a reflex for the tomato plants so that they stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. They should go back to normal around sunset, meaning there is no issue.
3. Water at the Roots
If you usually water your plants with a hose, you’re probably watering the leaves of your tomato plant instead of the base. You may think watering the leaves makes them look better, but this isn’t going to give them the drink they need.
It’s possible to water the leaves, too, but don’t forget the base and the soil. Always water early in the morning so that you’re not going to damage or burn the leaves later. If the water is hard or you’ve mixed some fertilizer in, try not to get any water on the leaves because this hurts them.
Try not to douse the stem in water, either. Water about 2 inches away from the stem all around the plant. It’s going to get its drink, but you aren’t going to wash away the topsoil and support the tomatoes need.
4. Go for Dawn
Watering the fruit and leaves can cause tomato diseases. Most of the diseases are a threat when the plant is moist. However, you also need low temperatures for the problem to take effect.
This ultimately means you should never water your tomatoes at night, even if they droop. Watering at dawn is best because the plants have sufficient time to absorb all the water. That also means they can start photosynthesis at the same time.
If any water gets onto the stems, fruit, or leaves, it’s going to dry up before the hot sun touches it. This is going to prevent the leaves from burning or scorching.
Mulch is an organic layer of various materials. You can use pine cones, wood pieces, hay, leaves, and coconut husks. There are other forms, as well.
Buy it from the store or make your own. It’s organic, so it’s going to decay with time and be a nourishment source for the plants.
You’re going to find many benefits of using mulch, such as water retention, nourishment, and more room for aeration. If you mulch the plants well, you don’t need to water them as much because there’s less evaporation.
How Often to Water Tomato Plants?
Most people have to water their tomato plants once a day. However, you need to check them frequently at the beginning of the growing season. If you notice your soil is dry after you’ve watered them, consider watering twice a day or using mulch.
Ultimately, rainwater is the best option for plants because there aren’t any chemicals. Plus, most people have hard water, and the salts can damage the tomatoes and other plantings.
Watering Tomato Plants in Pots or Containers
It’s possible and easy to grow tomato plants in containers, but they are going to have different watering requirements than those in the ground. The watering frequency depends on many factors. These include the weather conditions, size of the container, and the type of tomatoes you’re growing.
For example, if you have a bush tomato in a 5-gallon bucket, you may need to water it every day and twice a day in the heat of summer. The best way to determine if the plants need to be watered is to stick a finger in the soil 2 inches deep. If it feels a bit dry, water it.
Typically, a larger and more established tomato plant in a container requires a gallon of water each day. However, the container size, temperature, and growing stage can all affect how much water it needs. The best thing to do is water slowly until water starts seeping out of the bottom drainage holes.
Watering Tomato Plants While on Vacation
Summer is the time for vacations, but what do you do with your tomato plants? You might be able to ask a friend to do it, but they’ve got to get up early to do it right. It’s possible to turn to the neighbors, but what if they’re gone too, or you aren’t on friendly terms with them?
There are a few options, and you can decide which one is right for you. A programmed drip irrigation system isn’t expensive, and they’re quite easy to maintain and operate. If you frequently go on vacation or don’t want to water the garden yourself, program it to water the plants at a specific time each day.
You may also put the plants in a basin of water if they’re in pots. Make sure the tomato plant is above the water level, so you don’t flood it. Water is going to get in through the exit hole, so make sure there’s plenty of leverage between the water and pot, so you don’t flood the roots.
If your trip is only going to last three to four days, consider adding mulch to the plants. Water them all before you leave, and the mulch is going to keep the soil moist until you return. However, this does depend on your region and the temperatures/conditions during that time.
Tomatoes are loved by everyone. They work well in salads, as salsa, in burritos, and so much more. You can make juice from them and enjoy a healthier lifestyle by incorporating tomatoes into your diet.
However, most people try to grow tomatoes and find that they don’t get the best results. As long as you’re using soil with nutrients, the only other thing to focus on is the watering method.
While tomatoes aren’t hard to grow, they do require enough water to keep the plant moist without flooding the roots. You should be prepared now to water your tomato plants sufficiently without overloading them or drying them out.