When it comes to gardening and cultivating plants in general, there are no sorts that are more popular than the beloved tomato. Because of its ease of growth and a low maintenance cultivating system, more and more gardeners opt to plant tomato seeds in their gardens.
Not only do they have an aesthetic value, but they are filled with valuable nutrients which can enrich anyone’s diet. Just because growing them is a no-brainer, with all their benefits, that doesn’t mean that there are no problems or issue during the process.
What causes headaches with most gardeners is watering tomatoes in hot weather. Tomatoes are indeed resilient to most weather conditions, but not being careful when watering them during the summer months can be fatal to your garden. When to water tomatoes? How to do it? What equipment do you need?
We’ve compiled all the answers to those crucial questions in the following important, but simple tips.
Complete Guide for you – Watering tomatoes in hot weather
Setting up an indicator plant
In order to successfully assess how your plants are handling the water and the weather, you must select a test plant. When watering tomatoes in hot weather, every move is important and a test plant is used to monitor how your plants respond to the watering regime.
Any change in the condition of the plant should be an alarm to change your method of taking care of your tomatoes. Although many factors can affect the performance of tomatoes, having this indicator plant can really help you conclude an efficient watering method.
That plant can be a tomato, but you are also welcome to use a cucumber because their juicy leaves lose moisture fast and are a good signal to add water to the ground.
Measure the moisture in the soil
When watering tomatoes in hot weather, you wouldn’t want to overdo it or rely solely on surface data. If the temperature rises, you should start applying more and more water until you can get moisture in the ground all the way to 2 inches of depth. This way, you’ll be sure that your tomatoes are being watered correctly and that the roots are absorbing as much water as they need.
If the temperature rises above 95 degrees, visible signs of heat suffering may start showing and you should monitor how fast are they advancing. Although new growth may stop being produced, watering your tomatoes in this type of weather is more crucial than ever.
Organic mulch can be an amazing ally when watering your tomatoes. It covers the ground with a protective air and prevents excessive evaporation of valuable quantities of water. This step is crucial because every drop of water is valuable and you might waste time watering the plants if the nutrients and liquids start evaporating very soon.
The water from the hose will aid the natural mulch in decomposing, thus making it an ideal addition to the already existing soil.
Try watering in sections
Although you can use the indicator plants for assessment, monitoring your small tomato plantation is always advised. Check which parts of the garden need the most water and adjust the amounts according to the position of the sun and the advancement of the plant.
Don’t focus too much on the plants that have grown substantially, but just provide them with a constant but sufficient dose. Connecting more than one soaker hose is highly recommended – you will get more outlets on only one faucet and spend much less effort when watering your tomatoes in hot weather.
Drip irrigation is also a good solution
If the other methods aren’t paying dividends, this solution will most likely keep your tomatoes fit and healthy during unhealthy temperatures. By using drip irrigation, you will get an excellent way to save water and deliver it to the right place.
With a few tubes and improvised hoses, all the water will slowly and constantly drip to the bottom parts of the plant. When watering tomatoes in hot weather conditions, it’s important to ensure the roots are getting as many nutrients as possible, and this is an efficient way to do it.
Don’t hesitate to buy a timer
If you trust your own feel when watering tomatoes, you might overdo it or provide your plants with less water than the amount they need to survive. When administering life-saving nutrients, using a timer is the best bet to succeed in giving every plant just the right amount of water it requires.
They can be regular, cheap timers that signal you when your watering period is done or they can be automatic, more expensive ones. The automatic timers are designed to turn the flow of water on or off automatically. This leaves you free to tend to other issues and not worry about an insufficient nutrient admission to your plans.
The use of soaker hoses
No tool or helping aid is more valuable than the soaker hose is to tomatoes, when watering them in extreme conditions. By transporting water to rows of your tomatoes, you will maintain a steady influx of water that should be enough to beat any weather condition possible.
In fact, controlled watering of tomatoes has proven to be the best solution and an important ingredient when cultivating big and strong plants.
However, there are things to pay attention to. Watering your tomatoes in extreme conditions does require more water, but be very careful about how much you administer because hoses can break. Too much water puts pressure on the hose body and decreases your flow.
Avoid making the leaves too wet
Warm weather during summer months is the ideal period for bacteria and parasites to breed and spread around your garden. They are drawn to moisture and can cover your plant in a matter of days if the leaves are too wet.
Applying moisture to the tomato leaves is important, but aim to do it during the day because the leaves can soak the liquid and the nutrients before they evaporate. If too much is administered, it can draw those unwanted pests. Moderate watering is better than excessive watering.
These simple tips should really make watering tomatoes in hot weather a bit easier. By having a multitude of options and solutions to the problems caused by heat, you assure your garden will be happy and flourish, no matter the season! Good luck and many healthy tomatoes!
Leslie J. Shearer is the founder and owner of the blog colorgardening.com. Gardening is her passion and she has a deep relationship with nature. Growing plants and digging deep to germinate flowers and vegetables brings positivity in her life.