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How much water does a tomato plant need per day

How much water does a tomato plant need per day?

A really common question among gardeners –especially if you’re new to gardening – is on the issue of how much water their plants should get.


I found a couple of people who grow tomatoes in grow bags asking the question on forums.

It doesn’t matter what type of plant you’re cultivating, you are always going to want to be sure that you aren’t over-watering or giving little water to it.

Water is a very essential, very beneficial requirement for tomato plants and all plants in general. Without it, plant growth or fruiting would be difficult if not futile and can lead to stunted growth.

So, how much water does a tomato plant need per day?

Too little, too much, and your plant suffers for it.

The amount of water to feed your plant is dependent on various factors. Factors such as weather conditions, soil conditions, and type of plant, play a role in determining the water requirements of tomato plants.

How often do you water tomatoes in pots?

Container plants require more water than garden plants, as they heat up the soil and cause water to evaporate faster.

You need to ensure that your container has good drainage to prevent accumulated water, and also to make sure you water the plant once the soil is dry.

Watering Garden Tomato

tomato plant image 3
Photo – IG@ennisfarmersmarketclare

For garden plants, however, they do not require as much water as container plants. 1 – 2 inches below the soil level is just right a week.

This simply means you don’t need to water your tomato plants with more than a few sprinkles of water daily. [Source – OSU]

However, if you stay in an area where the temperature is quite high such that your soil dries out quickly, you’ll need to water your tomato more times daily (perhaps 2 or 3 times) than a person who stays in a cooler region.

If your soil doesn’t have a good water-retaining capacity, you’ll also have to water more so as to ensure the plant is supplied with adequate moisture.

How often do you water tomato plants in hot weather?

Photo IG@emilysboller

As often as you notice the soil is drying out.

Watering as much as twice a day or using drip irrigation methods can help you provide constant water for your tomato plants in hot weather.

Bear in mind that the tomato plant that you’ll grow in a hot environment must be a variety that can stand the weather.

In addition to that, you should shade the tomato plant if necessary especially if the sun is very intense in your region.

And you should add a layer of mulch to your tomato plants to help retain the water in the soil. The presence of mulch mitigates the rate of water evaporation from the soil.

How often should you water tomatoes with drip irrigation?

This depends on the type of drip irrigation system you’ve purchased and how you’ve set the system. Information provided on this article from the PennState Extension clearly points out the settings that you need to apply on your drip system.

While watering your tomato plant, you need to be careful to ensure that the soil isn’t waterlogged. There are dangers associated with overwatering your tomato plant.

Below, we’ve shared some of these dangers.

Dangers of Overwatering A Tomato Plant

The following are signs that you’ve put your tomato plant in danger as a result of overwatering.

  1. Excessive foliage: Your tomato plant is bearing abundant leaves and little or no amount of fruit.
  2. Yellowing of leaves: The leaves begin to turn yellow, or may even start to turn brown and dry at the tips.
  3. Stunted growth. The growth of the tomato plant will become stunted when there’s more than enough water in the plants.  
  4. Low yields will be recorded. Your tomato plant will not produce good fruits and even if it does, there’s every likelihood that it will not be quality fruit. And as we mentioned earlier, there’ll be excess foliage.

We all look forward to good yields from our tomato plants. So give it a check every now and then to determine the amount of water it needs. If need be, set an irrigation system to water it for you especially if you’re busy.

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