How to Properly Water Tomato Plants


Tomatoes are the quintessential backyard garden plant, being relatively easy to raise and producing numerous globular fruits that can be consumed fresh or in your favorite cooked recipes. The tomato fruit itself is 95 percent water, according to the University of Missouri, which makes your watering practices crucial for proper fruit production. Water your plant correctly and experience the bounty of your garden.

Step 1

Water the tomato seedling or juvenile plant twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. Apply 32 ounces of water per plant at each watering.

Step 2

Add organic or synthetic mulch around the base of the plant once the tomato seedling is 3 inches tall. Mulch helps to guard soil moisture against wind evaporation and the sun's heat.

Step 3

Increase the daily watering as soon as the tomato plant produces flowers and begins growing fruit. Apply 64 ounces of water per plant twice a day.

Step 4

Fertilize the tomato plant every three weeks as soon as the plant's fruits measure 1 to 2 inches in circumference. Use a standard granular garden fertilizer, applied according to the label's guidelines as potency varies widely by brand, or straight nitrogen--ammonium nitrate intended for garden use and available at most nurseries--at the rate of 1 pound per tomato plant. Apply before a standard watering session to help deliver the nutrients to the tomato plant's roots.

Tips and Warnings

  • When fertilizing your tomatoes, don't get the fertilizer on the plant itself as this may cause chemical burns.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Mulch
  • Garden fertilizer or nitrogen


  • "How to Grow World Record Tomatoes"; Charles Wilber; 1998
  • "American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants"; Christopher Brickell; 2004
  • University of Missouri: Growing Tomatoes
Keywords: grow tomatoes, water tomato plants, tomato water needs

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.