Watering Your Early Girl’s Through the Summer Months: Preventing Water Stress
During the hottest months, you may find yourself watering your tomato plants once or twice per day. Remember how I recommended placing drainage holes on the side of the pot rather than the bottom? This is when that tip will save you.
Tomato plants will dry out very, very quickly in hot weather. However, over-watering can cause problems too, such as cracked fruit or fungal diseases/rot. Here, you’ll learn mushrooms could even grow in your tomato pots in the right conditions! It can be a tricky process as you learn to water your tomato plant. Here’s how you can reach a wonderful middle ground:
Always ensure pots have drainage holes
Always use a soil mix that drains well, and retains some water. It shouldn’t be soggy, and it should not dry out as sand would.
Water daily, even if it’s just a light watering (unless saturated already)
Water plants at dusk.
Before a soaking, stick your finger 1″ into the soil to check for moisture. If dry, thoroughly soak the pot. If very slightly moist, give it a quick watering. If the soil is wet, do not water the plant.
Check plants twice a day during very hot days or drought.
Feeding Your Plants Regularly: The Importance of Feeding Container Tomatoes
Since container-grown tomato plants don’t have access to the ground, they must receive everything that they need from the container and soil they are grown in.
There are many different fertilizer mixes available that are formulated for tomatoes. However, I recommend opting for one that is specifically formulated for container grown tomato plants. These will include the nutrients or minerals that traditional fertilizers usually don’t contain, as most are designed for in-ground use. There are many excellent (and even organic) options available!
Following the directions for your particular brand and type of fertilizer, develop a feeding routine for the rest of the year that will keep your plant healthy and in prime production. Weaker strength fertilizers that are designed for use when watering tend to be applied weekly. Other liquid fertilizers may be biweekly or monthly. Granular fertilizers may only need to be applied once a month or even less.