|Thursday Tips & Techniques: Watering Tomato Plants for a Healthy Crop|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 19 May 2011|
By Kathy Widenhouse, Guest Contributor
Fifth in a series
A tomato is 93-95% water so consistent watering is an important key to producing both healthy tomato plants and healthy fruit. Here are some important watering tips to use in your tomato garden.
1. Water consistently
Regular watering produces stronger plants and larger fruit. Water newly-planted tomatoes at least a quart each for the first 7-10 days. In the height of summer, water plants 2-3 times a week. Later when temperatures cool, scale back to once a week.
2. Water with the weather in mind
Rainfall counts towards watering amounts. Use a rain gauge or a large can to measure what Mother Nature contributes to your tomato watering system. Adjust your supplemental watering accordingly. Water tomato plants during the day rather than in the evening. Some gardeners prefer morning watering to fortify plants for the heat they’ll endure as the day wears on. Others water when the sun is high as a way of cooling the plant. But tomato leaves that are wet overnight are susceptible to the spread of fungi and other diseases.
3. Water slowly
Let water sink into the ground, at the soil line, to help plants develop strong roots. Hand-watering and drip irrigation allow water to seep into the soil. Overhead watering is less effective because much of the moisture is sits on the foliage, evaporates, and in the process makes plants more susceptible to diseases. A well-watered tomato plant’s surrounding soil is moistened 6-8” deep.
About the Author:
Kathy Widenhouse is a contributing writer for The Daily Dirt and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading source for information on growing tomatoes and using them.
Photo source: www.tinyfarmblog.com
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