How to Water Tomatoes
Tomatoes are sensitive - but we'll explain how to water them properly
Tomatoes are relatively easy to grow, but tricky when it comes to watering. Proper watering is both a science and an art.
Essentials of tomato watering
Proper watering is essential for healthy and strong growing tomato plants, and incorrect watering can have serious consequences for your tomatoes. These include, for example:
- low yields
- stunted growth
- reduced plant resistance
Many hobby gardeners experiment until they find out when, how often and with how much water their tomatoes want to be watered. And of course, they learn from their mistakes. However, it's better to avoid these mistakes in the first place. Therefore, we've collected the most important tips for correct tomato watering.
1. Only water the soil
The most important principle when watering tomatoes is to only ever to water the soil! Never, never, under any circumstances water the plants from above. It may even be advisable to defoliate the plant - once it has reached a certain height. Removing leaves up to 40cm above the ground ensures that the leaves won't get splashed during watering. If they're wet, they might get burned by the sun's rays.
2. Water slowly
Slow watering is essential for happy tomato plants. The water should be absorbed into the soil before you water again, and the soil should be 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimetres) moist. This promotes root growth.
Always water around the stem, but not the stem itself. Keep a few centimetres away! This will encourage the roots to spread.
Mulching is part of a natural garden. It offers numerous advantages and makes sensitive tomato plants happy:
- it regulates moisture
- it releases important nutrients into the soil
- it promotes soil aeration when loosely mixed with the top layer of soil
- it protects against evaporation and ensures that you have to water less often
How often should you water
There is no general answer to this question, since the correct watering frequency depends on numerous factors such as temperature, soil conditions and location. So it may well be that you have to water your tomato plants several times a day or just once or twice a week. The only thing that really helps here is to observe carefully.
Basically, however, only water when your tomatoes really need it. The roots also need air, so drowning them in water won't help. In addition, too much water can wash out important nutrients from the soil. We therefore recommend that you check regularly.
The leaves are an important indicator of this: If they droop in the evening, the plant needs water. If the plant looks limp during the day, that's not a cause for concern. In fact, during the day it is often a protective mechanism of the plant to reduce the area exposed to the sun's rays and thus reduce evaporation. What's most important is how the plant looks in the evening, after sunset.
However, don't water until the next morning. If you water at night, the already wetter conditions and low temperatures can promote disease.
Water with what?
Like all other plants, tomatoes like rainwater best. Therefore, it should always be the first choice.
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