We all know that tomatoes are sensitive plants, but can you overwater them easily? How much water is too much?
I attempt to answer these and many more doubts using my experience in growing tomato plants.
Keep reading below to know more!
Can You Overwater Tomato Plants?
Yes. Sometimes, you may overwater tomato plants than is required for them. There may be standing water on the ground for long hours after watering the plants. The soil may be squishy or swampy. It may damage the roots, and foliage, and kill the plants later.
I like to grow tomato plants in my garden. I found in my experience that watering the tomato plants consistently is required to reap a good fruit harvest.
A strongly growing tomato plant may need only one to two inches of water per week.
I prefer to water at the base of the plants to avoid splashing and use a mulch to retain moisture. It is advisable to water in the morning to prevent the development of fungal leaf diseases.
The overwatered plants look like underwatered plants. Inspect the soil for dampness and the signs mentioned below to rectify the problem sooner.
Issues with Overwatering Tomato Plants
Too much water in the soil may damage the root system by driving the air out of the soil. Oxygen is crucial for plant health like water.
So, the roots in the waterlogged soil may not absorb the oxygen and nutrients needed to function normally.
It leads to discolored and slimy textured roots in contrast to healthy roots. Finally, it results in the death of roots.
The bottom leaves may have blisters or bumps due to overwatering. If the problem persists, they may turn corky and eventually fall off.
A common sign of overwatered plants is the yellowing of leaves.
The foliage or stem may become wilted due to poor absorption of nutrients by roots.
They may fall off later.
Another sign is the quality of the tomatoes themselves.
The fruits may develop cracks that provide the opening for the pests to enter.
Sometimes, you may observe dark spots on the bottom of the tomato fruit called blossom-end rot.
It is caused by overwatering after a period of a dry spell in combination with calcium deficiency.
Overwatering of tomato plants may also increase the susceptibility of plants to soil-borne pathogens.
Check out this video for different signs of overwatered tomato plants:
How to Solve the Overwatering Issues?
The tomato plants are resilient and may come back to normal with little care if the roots are healthy.
The wilting may also be because of a possible fungal infection. So, rule out the possible infection before correcting the overwatering issue.
It is necessary to check for soil moisture before watering. Push your finger deep into the soil about an inch. If you have figured out that overwatering is the issue, you may stop watering immediately.
You may water after the soil has dried out.
Here are a few other tips –
- If you observe more water in the soil, remove the plant without damaging the roots and shaking off the excess dirt.
- Place the roots of the plants on newspaper stacks to draw out the excess moisture. Move the plant to a pot that fits the roots, and fill it with fresh compost.
- If you are planting in containers, add drainage holes in the bottom. You may also use self-watering containers, including grow boxes.
If you are expecting heavy rains, you may cover the plants in the ground with plastic sheets.
You may take it off when the rain stops. You may alternatively bring the plants in the containers indoors when you expect rain.
Overwatering of tomato plants is a serious problem, and you may check for signs and take precautionary measures as mentioned in the article to save the plant.
You may write to me if you still have any questions. Do share the article with your newbie gardening buddies if you find it useful!