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16 messages
30/05/2013 at 11:28

How much water should I be giving my tomatoes in the greenhouse? They're still only about 2 feet high. Should it be a good amount every day now, and then less when they start producing fruit? 

30/05/2013 at 11:37

keep them  moist, especailly when the fruit is coming as if you let them dry & then soak them it causes the fruit to split, also I've always found if you take some of the leaves off you get more fruit (aparently you only need 3 leaves per plant but I've never been that brave!)

30/05/2013 at 12:25

http://www.tomatogrowing.co.uk/html/watering___feeding_tomatoes.html has some useful info. Lots of other helpful advice too on that website which I found through a link posted on the forum.

30/05/2013 at 12:26

That's great steep useful info

30/05/2013 at 14:05

Thanks very much for your advice both of you, that website is great steephill!

31/05/2013 at 08:22

The best advice in that link is to allow the mix to dry. Tom roots should never be permanently damp. There are very few plants that like their roots permanently damp and toms certainly aren't one of them. Tomatoes respond best to controlled neglect in terms of both watering and fertilising. Less is better.

31/05/2013 at 08:24

Morning itallophile

Too much watering and feeding is prob my issue too.  So I will hold back bit more this summer

31/05/2013 at 08:39

Hi Italophile and Verdun,

Are you saying they should be given a really good soak not very often? How will I know when the roots have dried out?

thank you for your advice 

31/05/2013 at 08:49

  Water with a seaweed based solution, regularly, (on foliage too, when plants are of a good size).  How damp you keep your compost (well rotted manure is best) is down to personal taste required.

  Experiment with watering, for your sites conditions, to develop a method best for YOU xx

31/05/2013 at 09:21
Nick Winn wrote (see)

Hi Italophile and Verdun,

Are you saying they should be given a really good soak not very often? How will I know when the roots have dried out?

thank you for your advice 

Nick, are you growing in containers or in the ground? In the ground, a good deep soaking infrequently is better than frequent light waterings. The deep soakings encourage the roots deeper into the soil. Mine are outdoors and I only water more than once a week - very deeply - when the temps get into the high-30sC consistently.

In containers, you're more at the mercy of the size of the container and what the container's made of. Smaller ones will dry out quicker than bigger ones in warm weather and terra cotta dries out quicker than plastic because terra cotta "breathes".

One test for moisture is to stick a finger down into the mix as deeply as you can. With the temps the UK seems to be getting at the moment, I'd bet it would take a while for the roots to dry out completely.

31/05/2013 at 11:41

Thanks guys, we're growing them in the ground in the greenhouse, so I will experiment a bit with different watering methods to find out what works best. Thank you for all your advice

31/05/2013 at 21:08

Remeber that toms grow in hot and dry countries, i tend to soak them say every other day but feed on a regular basis.  Just watch for side shoots.

31/05/2013 at 21:40

So, what's the difference between all the different feeds for tomatoes (and chillies) - what do I use and when? My tomato plants are all bush varieties and all about six inches. Chillies are much smaller.

31/05/2013 at 22:25

same here, I don't think you feed them until you see flower buds (I have some tiny buds ), and it's better to dilute it too much than make it too strong if you're using liquid fertiliser.

Tomorite is a good one to use at this stage for Toms and Chillies as it helps them form fruits (same for all fruiting vegetables). Fertilisers like Growmore will make them too leafy due to having too much nitrogen.

31/05/2013 at 23:24
01/06/2013 at 07:44
Ben 3 wrote (see)

Remeber that toms grow in hot and dry countries, i tend to soak them say every other day but feed on a regular basis.  Just watch for side shoots.

Toms had their origins in the warmth of mesoamerica growing wild. They were eventually domesticated but would never have been pampered. To this day they remain immensely tough, resilient plants just as they were eons ago. Amazingly so. They thrive on controlled neglect. It's worth a wee experiment to see what effect less water and fertiliser has.

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