If you have ever planted tomatoes, you are already aware that there is no pat answer to that question.
Where are you growing your plants? Are you planting your tomatoes in the garden or containers?
What kind of soil do they have their feet planted in? Is it hard and clayey, sandy, or loamy?
The area you’re living in also is a consideration. The hot summer days in some locations literally suck the water right out of the air.
Overwatering can be as big of a problem as underwatering your plants.
Tomato plants like their water, but they also like dry feet.
So take care that you have proper drainage for your tomato plants, whether in your garden or pots.
How much water does a tomato plant need per day?
Typically, tomato plants need 0.3 inches of water per day (0.7 cm). That amounts to at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) of water weekly. It’s best to water your tomato plants once in the morning. As the temperatures start to rise, increase your watering to twice daily. But, make sure the soil’s dry first before watering your tomato plant to avoid root rot.
Factors Affecting How Much Watering Tomato Plants Need
The soil in Florida is sandy and drains very fast. However, the soil in many parts of Georgia has clay-type soil and holds water much better than sand.
The point is that plants growing in these two different soils will have different daily watering requirements.
The growth medium for your tomato plants is a significant factor in watering them. Where your plants are located is another factor.
Tomato plants like full sun, and of course, full sun will cause them to dry out sooner than if they have shade part of the day.
Your tomato plants will tell you if they need any watering. They will droop, but that is not good for them and stresses them.
Continued stress on a tomato plant makes it more prone to be afflicted by insects and diseases.
If you want to be very technical, a tensiometer will measure the amount of water in your soil and help you keep the moisture at the proper level.
Or, you can use the finger test. For example, if you stick your finger in the dirt and it comes out dry, your plants need water.
How Much Water A Tomato Plant Needs In Your Garden
What soil do you use in your garden? Is it well-amended earth, sand, clay, or is it dark and loamy? The soil type in your garden is a factor to consider when watering, as is the weather.
If you have had a week of rain, too much water may become a problem, not too little.
How you are watering is also a factor when deciding how much water your tomato plant needs daily.
Are you using drip irrigation, hand watering, or using a sprinkler system to water your garden area? It matters.
Drip irrigation and watering go directly to your plant. Watering overhead overwaters some plants while underwatering others.
Monitoring your plants with any of these watering methods will help you decide if you need to water your tomatoes every day or less.
How Much Water A Tomato Plant Needs In A Container
It would be best if your tomato plants receive water daily or every other day.
They will dry out faster than the garden, and the key to healthy growth is a consistent level of moisture in the growth medium you are using.
Growing tomato plants in containers may provide you with a medium free of weeds, and you need to stay on top of your watering regimen.
Use the proper containers for your tomato plants
If you do not have suitable containers, nothing you can do will work to grow your tomatoes.
They need to be well-drained, with a soil mix that is loose enough for the tomatoes to grow in without cramping their roots.
You should be able to keep the soil in your containers damp, not soggy, six to eight inches deep.
A layer of gravel or small stones, several inches deep, at the bottom of your container will facilitate proper drainage.
Since potted plants have soil that is contained, you will need to fertilize them more often than plants in the garden.
Watering container plants causes the nutrients to leach from the soil quickly.
When to water my tomato plants
Tomato plants tend to do better when watered in the morning.
However, when planting in dry, arid areas of the country, you may need to water twice a day, depending on where you are growing your tomato plants.
It would be best to never water your plants at noon or the evening.
The sun can burn the leaves if they have water droplets on them, and plants that get wet are more prone to disease.
A tomato plant functions first off in the morning, after a good night’s sleep, and begins its photosynthesis process. Giving it water at this time helps it to grow strong and healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Water Does A Tomato Plant Need Per Day
How much do I need to water my tomato plants?
Tomato plants need about three to four gallons of water a week for each plant.
Do I need to water every day?
When the weather is arid and hot, water your tomato plants daily. But, first check the soil they have their feet in to determine if they are too wet or dry.
Is weather a factor in when I water my tomato plants?
As mentioned earlier, weather can affect your watering schedule with tomato plants. The weather in the U.S. is as varied as the plants you have in your garden. If you live in an area that has high humidity and a lot of rain, you will need to determine if your plants need water or not.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.