Growing your own garden-fresh tomatoes is easier than you might think, but understanding how to water them is key. Garden experts recommend giving tomatoes 1-2 inches of water per week, but conditions like size, weather, and soil type must also be considered. We’ll give you the basics of how and when to water your tomatoes to ensure you get a bumper crop.
Watering Tomato Seedlings
Tomato seedlings in small containers or seed trays tend to dry out quickly. You want to make sure that they get enough water but don’t want them to sit in a puddle of water. One of the best ways to water seedlings is to mist the soil with a spray bottle every day. This will ensure that they are moist without leaching the soil. Check the seedlings throughout the day, and if they are too dry, increase your watering. At planting time, make sure that you water the soil well to get rid of air pockets and to encourage the roots to grow deep to support the growing plant.
Watering Tomatoes in the Garden
After the tomatoes are in the garden, you want to try to give them 1-2 inches of water per week, depending on how hot it is. To put this into perspective, if you want to put 1 inch of water over 100 square feet, that would take about 60 gallons of water. This can be hard to visualize, so often it is easier to just check the soil and adjust accordingly.
Tomatoes benefit from long, deep watering, so drip systems and soaker hoses tend to work best. You want the water to soak down 5-6 inches deep. It must be done slowly because you do not want the water to run off or flood the plants because that washes away important nutrients in the soil. If you do this slow, deep watering, you only need to do it once or twice a week. Regularly check the soil, and if it becomes too dry, you can up the frequency of your watering.
Other Tips for Watering Tomatoes
- One of the most important things is to be consistent in your watering. If you let the soil get very dry and then water a lot, the tomato plants will suck up all the available water and cause the tomato fruit to crack
- If you are watering via manual methods (i.e. hose, bucket, etc.), water around the stem and not on the leaves. Water that is left sitting on the leaves may encourage fungal growth.
- It is best to water in the morning so that any moisture will soak in throughout the day. Watering at night when the temperatures are low may cause the water to sit on the plants for too long and lead to more diseases.
Growing Great Tomatoes
To grow great tomatoes, watering is important, but you also need the best tomato fertilizer. Dr.JimZ Tomato Secret is the best natural fertilizer on the market. Its perfect blend of ingredients will improve the soil, help reduce pests and disease, and produce the best, high quality tomatoes. Visit DrJimZ.com for more information on growing the best tomatoes.