Tomato plants are fairly easy to grow and produce an abundant yield with some basic tips for watering and care. Each tomato plant typically produces 10 to 15 pounds of fruit. They grow best in daytime temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees and night temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees. Tomatoes are delicious raw, grilled or stewed; they can also be frozen, canned or dried. Tomatoes contain high levels of potassium, vitamin C, fiber and vitamin A, as well as lycopene, a carotenoid that may play a role in preventing cancer.
Watering Tomato Plants
Tomato plants require 1 to 2 inches of water per week. If you don't get much rainfall, you will need to water your tomato plants regularly. For best results, water deeply so the tomato plants grow deep roots. Frequent light waterings lead to shallow and weak roots. However, avoid extremes in watering and soil moisture, as extreme conditions often cause diseases and fruit defects.
Adding mulch, such as straw, hay, grass clippings or plastic, to the surface of the soil helps prevent water evaporation. Adding organic matter to the soil, such as compost, can also improve its water-holding capacity. You may need to water tomatoes grown in containers daily or every other day.
Signs of Improper Watering
If you water your tomato plants too much or too rarely, your tomatoes are likely to develop depressed, brownish circles of rot near the blossom end of the tomato. This disease, called blossom end rot, occurs from an irregular water supply and a calcium deficiency. Remove and destroy fruits that have developed blossom end rot.
You might also notice cracking in your tomatoes, which occurs when excessively dry soil is then watered, causing a burst of growth. Some varieties of tomatoes are more resistant to cracking than others. Watering your tomato plants too heavily can also cause leaf roll, which is not a disease and doesn't harm the tomatoes.