How to water tomato plants is a practical skill that can help you get the perfect amount of blossoms from your plant. Not only does properly irrigating your tomato seedlings and plants the right way help them thrive, but it also helps keep pests and diseases away.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the step-by-step method to water your tomatoes to increase your chances of getting the best harvest.
- How to Water Tomato Plants In the Right Method?
- How to Water Tomato With the Ideal Watering System?
How to Water Tomato Plants In the Right Method?
The right method to water your tomato plant is by watering your plants slowly and regularly, watering them at the roots. In addition to these, you must also try to stick to the dawn routine, and engaging in mulching as well.
– Water Your Tomatoes Slowly
The first step to correct watering is to learn how to water them slowly. The goal of watering your tomatoes is to ensure that they have enough water before they engage in any physiological activity. You don’t want just to pour water on the plant and call it a day.
Doing so will cause the water to run off with the top soil and nutrients that are needed by your tomatoes. Instead, you’ll have to start by irrigating your plant a little in the beginning, and then wait until after each sprinkle has seeped into the soil.
Then you should add more water, wait, and repeat the process until the soil is moist, but for this, remember that you’ll need to continue to water slowly until about six to eight inches below the soil is moistened. Overall, you can also do to use a drip irrigation system to ensure consistent moisture with no flooding.
– Keep Your Tomato Plants Watered Regularly
While there’s no one-size fits all recipe for how often you should water tomatoes, regularly checking and keeping up with your soil moisture is important. This is why you must employ the use of drip irrigation since it allows you to water your plants as consistently as possible without damaging the roots.
Depending on your soil type and how hot your region is, you may need to water your plants once or multiple times a day. So stick your thumb into the soil of your plant to see how dried up it is, and remember that if the soil is bone dry, so this is when you may need to water deeply; on the other hand, if the soil is still wet, hold back for a few days before you would be watering your plant.
In case you live in a moist area, you may need to water your plant just once or twice a week. Another good rule is to water your plant deeply once a week rather than water it lightly every day. But for this, if your plants are drooping around mid-day and don’t go back to normal at sunset, then the soil may be too parched, and you need to water your plant, which is the key reason that you will need to water the plant following morning and not at sunset.
– Irrigation at the Base
If you are using a hose to water your plants, you will likely water your tomato leaves instead of watering the stem down. While doing so might make for excellent aesthetics and photo ops, it’s not ideal for your plant’s health, especially when the sun is already out. Watering the leaves or fruits increases the risk of your plant getting a disease, so try to point your hose on the ground close to the stem, not at the stem or roots.
Watering the area close to the stem helps protect the topsoil around your plants, especially if you’ve built no external support for your tomato plants. Even though you can form a circle where your water will go near the plant, and now, once you’ve decided on the right spot, water your plants and do it slowly.
If you want to water your tomato fruits or leaves, you would have to do so early in the morning which is right before the sun comes to light. In addition, if you’re using hard water or your water is mixed with some chemicals or fertilizer, it’s best to abstain from watering near the leaves. In short, watering tomato leaves with impure water can damage them and stop them from functioning properly once the sun comes up.
– Engage in the Dawn Routine
As we’ve previously mentioned, when you grow tomatoes and water their fruits and leaves, there’s an increased chance of the plant getting diseases. While it is still moist, the plant conditions are needed for these diseases to thrive; moist of them also need low temperatures to increase and improve their livelihood.
These reasons are why it’s not advisable to water your plants at night, even when they look droopy; that is when you must water your plants at dawn. Note that doing so will give your plant enough time to take in the water and start photosynthesis. Also, if you mistakenly water your leaves or fruits, the water will dry up before the sun gets hot and starts to burn them up around midday.
– Utilize Mulching
Mulching is basically creating an organic layer of hay, coconut husk, leaves, pine cone pieces, or even wood pieces. There are different elements you can use to create mulch. However, your mulch needs to be organic so it can decay and be a source of nutrients for your plants.
With mulch, watering your plants will be more efficient as your plants will be able to enjoy better water retention, gain nourishment, and get better aeration when the mulch is lightly mixed with the topsoil. Select the right mulch for you, and for this you can even opt to use some organic matter, such as leaves, bark, coconut husk, and straw, which is also recommended.
Clear the area around your tomato plant of any debris, stone, or weed. Then you should smoothen the soil till you get an even surface, and lay down your mulch around the base of your tomatoes. Be sure to leave some space, which should be about an inch or two, around your tomato plant’s stem to prevent moisture from being trapped.
Give the mulch layer a depth of two to three inches and then check the mulch frequently to make sure your plant is getting the right hydration. In this case, you can add more mulch at the right time to maintain the depth.
How to Water Tomato With the Ideal Watering System?
The ideal watering system for watering tomato plants is the drip irrigation system. It uses small tubes to provide equal amounts of water to your tomato plants. You can also use a hose or sprinkler system, but they’re not as efficient as the drip irrigation system.
– Drip Irrigation System
Growing tomatoes with the drip irrigation system are arguably the most efficient method to utilize without causing any kind of harm. Not only can this system provide your plants with equal amounts of water, but you can also connect them with a timer. Then you can program them to work on specific days at specific times.
If you wish to have a stable DIY tomato watering system you must first plan how the layout would look by figuring out the number of plants that would need the system. Also, determine the number of drip emitters each plant will need and the spots where the irrigation supply lines and water supply line would go.
Then, aim to install a filter and pressure regulator on your hose bib to make sure that the water from your hose bib is clean, and the pressure is adjustable, and lay out your tubing according to the designed layout. Cut the tubing to match the length you’ve determined for each part of your garden and fix the tubing to the pressure relator and filter.
Try to make holes in the tubing and attach the drip emitters for each plant, and then by using a stake to hold them in place. If you wish to add other elements, such as nozzles and tubing tees, you can add them at this point.
Turn on the water supply so that you see if the system works correctly and now you can freely adjust the water pressure, check for any leaks, adjust the spacing of your emitters if needed, and check the flow rate of each emitter.
– The Hose System
Using a hose to water your plant is a straightforward process. Just attach a hose to your water supply, turn on the water supply, and water your plants. However, this method can cause sudden mishaps as you may mistakenly water your leaves or fruits while using it.
Therefore, it’s recommended that you set up a soaker hose system instead. With a soaker hose system, you’ll be able to provide your plants with water all at once without risking water getting on the leaves and fruits of your plant. Plan the layout of your garden, the position of your water source, and determine the length of the soaker hose you’ll need.
Try to fix a pressure regulator and filter to your water source, so you will be able to control the water pressure and get clean water, and then you can attach the soaker hose to the water source. Unroll the hose to reach every location you’d like to water and run past your tomato’s base. Test run the system by turning on your water supply, checking excessive dripping areas, and regulating the pressure.
– The Sprinkler System
While sprinklers are convenient, they’re less effective than the two options above. The reason is that sprinklers will likely get water on your fruits and leaves, thereby increasing the chances of diseases and pests. Also, the moisture gotten from using sprinklers tends to evaporate quickly.
You won’t be able to target a specific area, which means that there’s an increased chance of overwatering your tomatoes or providing weeds with water. On the other hand, if you have no other option than to use this method to water your tomatoes, you must first begin to determine the layout of your garden, the number of sprinklers you’ll need, and where your sprinkler and water supply lines are meant to go.
After which, you can install a backflow preventer between the main water supply and your sprinkler system. For convenience, add a timer to the mix, so you’d be able to get water to your plants even when you’re not home. Attach your valves and sprinkler heads, and then you are ready to connect the tubing and supply lines and check to see if everything works properly.
Now you know how often to water tomato plants in pots and how to build an automatic watering system for tomato plants. Below are a few points to keep in mind when watering your garden and potted tomato plants:
- Watering tomatoes at sunset can attract pests and increase the chances of your plants getting diseases, so you abstain from worrying, can you over water tomato plants.
- If your plant droops during the day and doesn’t go back to normal when the sun sets, it may be a result of insufficient water.
- You can use your finger to test how moist the soil is to figure out whether or not it’s time for watering.
- Make sure to water your plants slowly, allowing the soil to absorb a little at a time before adding more water.
- Place your finger into the soil to check its moisture and determine when to stop watering the plant tomatoes.
Also, make sure your container or pot has a drain underneath it, and try to water the plants twice a day, once at dawn and once in the evening.
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