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My tomatoes are outside in big pots - I'm watering twice a week at the moment. 

I was up at my local tomato greenhouse's for some last week and his plants are in like rockwool 8"x8" in polythene no soil and polythene pulled up at the sides stapled with a water feeding pipe running along inside the polythene just feeding the bare roots and the plants look great so am going to try this next year in my greenhouse.

I've just come across this thread, and have really enjoyed reading all your comments.  Just before I went off on holiday a couple of weeks ago, I was doing a final hasty weed in the veg patch and noticed some tomato seedlings there.  The seeds must have been in my home-grown compost.  So I left them, and now they're about 20" (50cm) high, with one truss of flowers on each of them.  All by themselves!  I haven't bothered watering them, even though they're in a hot south-facing garden, because they look absolutely fine and healthy, but I have noticed that if the hose does catch them they immediately keel over at soil level, so whoever advised planting them deep - thank you.  I'll  'earth them up' this morning to make the stems stronger.

Jessica Rose wrote (see)

Bit of an update for you, I have a few flowers on my tomato plants..  

how many times a day would you water the plant in this heat? 


The bottom line is water when the plants need it. The mix shouldn't be permanently damp. Don't be afraid to let the mix dry out. I don't mean leave the mix dry for three or four days, but a day without water will not hurt a tomato plant. They're immensely tough, durable critters and will produce at their best if treated as such. More tom plants are damaged by overwatering - and overfertilising - than neglect.

All sorts of factors contribute to a container watering regime. Smaller pots dry out quicker than larger ones, terra cotta dries out quicker than plastic because terra cotta "breathes". The temperature and number of hours in direct sunlight also contribute.

Dove's watering regime (two posts above) sounds about right. You'd need vastly hotter temperatures than you're currently getting to justify more watering.

My toms are in the ground. The temps have been in the mid-30s for a couple of weeks with nothing lower than 22C overnight. I water - very deeply - every four or five days.


Peta, your experience is proof positive that toms don't need to be pampered.


I plant my seeds in small pots, put them in a cardboard box with the front cut out.This is lined smoothly with aluminium foil which reflects the light evenly. Turn the pots around regularly for perfect;y straight up plants, not leggy bent ones. Works beautifully.

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