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Watering Tomatoes - What Every Gardener Should Know About Watering Tomatoes
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Watering Tomatoes - What Every Gardener Should Know About Watering Tomatoes

As, a novice or seasoned gardener watering tomatoes seems like an easy enough task. But is this little task really that simple? I find that there is an abundance of questions when growing tomatoes on just that one single aspect. Questions like, what is the best time or what is the worst time of the day to be watering tomatoes, how much water does my tomato plants really need and how often should I water my plants, and what is the difference in watering when it comes to sandy and clay soil. When it comes down to it, there is a multitude of questions floating around out there and just as many diverse answers. So after loads of trial and error over the years of growing tomatoes in my gardens, I'd like to give you my take on some of the important points to remember when it comes to watering your tomato plants.

Why Watering Is So Important To Tomato Plants

There is no doubt that tomatoes need water to grow. Providing your newly transplanted tomatoes with the right amount of water helps them to get established and to set the stage for their fruit production. Established tomato plants need a much larger amount of water to continue growing and producing. By watering our tomato plants, we are helping the plant to produce energy and to help with cooling itself. The water that we supply our tomato plants is taken up by the roots and then carried up the stem of the plant to the leaves where it is converted by the sunlight into energy that feeds the plant. If you remember, from your school science class, this whole process is described as photosynthesis. The remaining transported water is used to cool the plant. The simple task of watering tomatoes should now hold a lot more importance, and as a home gardener, we should realize that, in this one aspect of tomato gardening, we do have a large amount of control.

Tomato Plants Love To Be Dry

This leaves us with the question of exactly what is the right amount of water to feed our tomatoes? Tomato plants do not like their leaves to be wet. On the reverse side, the tomato plants roots love water, and lots of it. Tomato plants love to be dry and if while watering your tomato plants you happen to get water on their leaves this could very easily result in your plant becoming diseased. Pouring water right on your tomato plants could be devastating.

When To Water Tomato Plants

Properly watering your tomato plants by saturating the ground around the tomato plant itself and staying away from any visible part is the proper way to prevent disease in your plants. The ideal situation is to give your plants a good soaking 3 to 4 times a week allowing the water to soak into the soil so that it dampens the soil surrounding the plant to at least 4 to 6 inches deep. By doing this, you will be assisting the plant in developing a strong root system. The tomato plants root system will actually spread out to about 3 feet from the plant itself as it develops and matures.

Does Temperature Make A Difference

If the weather is exceedingly hot, then it is advisable to water your plants daily. Now, depending on your soil type, it might be advisable to water both morning and evening. Some soils that have a high consistency of sand which tends to need more watering, whereas soil with more clay in it needs less watering. Mulching your tomato plants is important when you want to conserve moisture and prevent weeds from stealing the nutrients and moisture from the surrounding soil.

Best Time To Water Tomato Plants

If you are wondering, the right time of the day for watering your tomato plants is in the mornings. When you water your tomato plants in the morning, you will be ensuring that your tomato plant has enough moisture to to fulfill it's process of converting water and sunlight into energy. Watering in the morning also helps prevent diseases in your tomato plant by giving the leaves an opportunity to dry out if, by chance, they got wet while you were watering them.

A Little TLC Goes A Long Way

Tomato plants can be heavy producers, and that is a perfect scenario if you love tomatoes, but for this to happen they need tender loving care. You just can't stick them into the ground, forget about them and wish for the best. I know from experience this usually ends up with dismal results. When I first started gardening and growing tomatoes I thought all you had to do is throw the seeds in the ground, and mother nature would take it from there. Unfortunately, it just doesn't operate that way. What you put into the care of your tomato plants is what you will get out of them. If you really want to have a bountiful crop of healthy tomatoes on your plants, then it's essential to keep some of these important points in mind when it comes down to watering tomatoes in your garden.

Keeping A Schedule Helps

Sometimes, it's just a case of keeping track of what works and what doesn't work and that might be the best approach to discovering the right technique of watering tomatoes in your own vegetable garden for your own circumstances. In my own case, after loads of trial and errors, with success and failures, I adopted the practice of keeping a gardening journal. These days, if find I'm having tomato problems or other gardening problems, I can always look back in my journal from previous years and see what worked and what didn't. So the key is to visit your tomato plants often and remember the basics when watering tomatoes and you should be well on your way to a favorable tomato growing experience.


Street Talk

Great Article I usually water each tomato plant with a five gallon bucket making sure not to get the leaves wet

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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