3 Ways to Save Tomato Plants From Too Much Rain

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Quick Answer: How To Save Tomato Plants From Too Much Rain?

Tomato plants may suffer root and fruit damage following heavy rainfall. You may add cover the plants if suspecting a heavy downpour. You may remove the plants grown in pots, blot the excess water, and transfer them to a new pot. It is preferable to provide support, mulch, and prune the plants to reduce the damage due to rain.

In this guide, I will talk about how to save your tomato plants from too much rainfall.

I have revived my tomato plants a few times after rainfall during my years of growing them. In this guide, I have combined my personal experience with research insights.

Let us dive into the guide right away!

What Happens When Your Tomato Plants Get Too Much Rain?

Tomato plants may suffer when they receive too much rain. It may drive out the air from the soil, damage the roots, wilt the leaves, and kill the plants later. It may increase the susceptibility to diseases.

Water is essential for the growth of tomato plants. A general rule of thumb is to provide one to two inches of water per week for tomato plants.

I have grown tomato plants in my backyard to make healthier food choices for my family.  Sometimes, my area receives heavy rainfall for prolonged hours.

My plants take a hit from too much rain.

Your garden may turn into a muddy mess when there is too much rain. You may have standing water in the low-lying areas around the plants.

Tomatoes may suffer many problems due to heavy rainfall. The excess water may drive out the air from the soil, drown the roots and kill them later. The leaves will turn brown and wilt.

The plants may be susceptible to fungal diseases, develop cracked fruits, or blossom end rot. Eventually, the whole plant dies.

Click on this video for signs of too much rain on tomato plants:

How To Save Tomato Plants From Too Much Rain?

You may need immediate action to save the tomato plants from heavy rainfall, start by evaluating the plants.

Here are a few impactful actions you can take to save tomato plants during rains –

1. Heap Additional Soil

Plant the tomatoes in the area with good drainage capacity. Add additional soil or compost around the base of the plant to cover the exposed roots.

Tomato plants may withstand rainfall if planted in an area with good drainage capacity.

One experienced gardener recommends adding additional soil or compost around the base of the tomato plants.

This is a good idea and may help in absorbing the water and developing new roots above the wet soil.

Also, it will help in covering the exposed roots before they dry out.

2. Cover The Plant

You may cover the plant if expecting a heavy downpour. Take care to choose a transparent sheet to allow sunlight to penetrate. Also, remove them after the rain.

The hardy tomato plants can withstand severe rainfall and be left in rain. 

Suppose you have planted the tomatoes in the ground and suscept a prolonged heavy rainfall. You may bring the plants inside.

Or place a plastic sheet over the plant to protect them. Take care the covering is slanted to ensure drainage from the sheet.

However, a non-translucent plastic may block the sunlight essential for growing tomatoes. It is preferable to use clear plastic.

You may remove them when the rain stops.

3. Blot The Excess Water

Remove the plants from the waterlogged pots. Blot the roots against the newspaper and transfer them to another pot that fits its roots.

If your tomato plant is in the pot, you may remove them gently without damaging the roots. Place the root area on two or three newspapers to draw out the excess moisture.

Transfer the plants to another pot that just fits the roots. Fill the gaps with soil and fresh compost.

Post Rain Tips and Considerations

You may water less following rainfall, grow the plants in the raised bed, mulch around plants, prune the lower leaves, and provide support. Inspect for nutrient deficiency in soil due to rainfall and compensate for it. 

You may practice following tips and considerations to save the tomato plants before, during, and following heavy rainfall and keep them healthy in wet weather.

1. Waterless following rainfall

If there is heavy rain for long hours, there may be enough water for your plants for a week. So, avoid watering the plants for a week.

Do not apply any fertilizer or herbicides around your tomato plants if there is a forecast of heavy rainfall.

2. Grow the plants in a raised bed

One tip to save the plants is to grow them in raised beds. This helps in draining the excess rainwater from the soil.

If you are growing your plants in a low-lying area, you may place a barrier across the slope. It may help in diverting the water.

Some prefer building a trench to remove the excess water away from the garden bed.

3. Mulch around the plants

You may mulch around the base of the plants to reduce the soilborne fungal spores off of the tomato plant leaves and reduce compaction.

Keep the mulch around the plants to a maximum of 1-2 inches deep to prevent soil erosion.

Do not use a thick layer as it may prolong the soil wetness and lead to root rot infection.

4. Prune the lower leaves

You may also prune the lower leaves to lessen lower leaf contact with soil.

It allows better airflow movement near the base of the plant. If the tomatoes show signs of blight, you may remove and dispose off plants in the compost pile.

Some gardeners recommend using an aerator to remove small plugs in the soil and ease compaction.

5. Inspect the nutrient deficiency

Also, constant rainfall may leach out the nutrients from the soil making it unavailable for the plants.

You may inspect the plant’s growth and make up for the nutrient deficiency.

6. Keep the snails at bay

Also, rainfall may attract a lot of slugs.

The University of Minnesota Extension recommends hand-picking or setting up a bait to trap them.

7. Provide support

Train your tomato plants in a trellis or cage system. This may increase the airflow and support the delicate plants from rain.


Can a strong, heavy rain be beneficial for tomato plants?

A strong, heavy rain may be beneficial in removing insects from tomato plants. It may remove spider mites and aphids that hang out on leaves by washing them away.

How early should I pick tomatoes during the rainy season?

You may watch tomatoes daily and let them ripen as long as possible before they crack. Pick them immediately as soon as they crack. Else, it may increase the susceptibility to diseases.


If you are facing heavy rainfall in your area, you may follow the above-mentioned tips and steps to save the tomato plants.

Do you have any other tips to protect tomato plants from heavy rainfall.? Please write to me with!

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