Watering Practices for Healthy Heirloom Tomato and Pepper PlantsJanuary 22, 2017
If you want healthy, productive heirloom tomato and pepper plants a good place to start is by keeping them on the dry side. If you’re gardening in the Front Range’s notoriously hard-packed, clay soil then it is an especially good idea. That shovel busting concrete we affectionately refer to as “soil” around the Denver area, poses a lot of issues for the backyard gardener. However, when faced with clay-packed soil, and accompanying drainage problems, sometimes less water may go a long way.
You may have already spent big bucks and long, back breaking hours amending the heck out of your soil. Maybe you have finally sworn off your garden entirely for its under performing plants. In actuality, your problem could be as simple as too much water. Over-watering your plants can lead to issues that you may not even realize, here are a few:
|Healthy San Marzano Roma Plant and Tomatoes|
1. Your plant can actually wilt from too much water as drowning roots become deprived of oxygen. Think back to that wilted eye-sore of a plant on the pedestal in your living room. Perfect light from a large window? Check. Perfect amount of organic fertilizer? Check. Watered it often? Check. Too often? Uh, oh. Always looked terrible before you gave up and finally chucked it into the garbage? CHECK! Thing is, your consistently soggy soil is what led to wilting, giving you the impression to water more which led to more wilting, which led to more watering. . . you get where this is going. Your wilted houseplant was drowning.
2. Blossom end rot is the direct result of over watering and poor drainage. For more information on this topic read my post on blossom end rot.
3. Another thing to consider is that clay soil compacts very easily when wet. This makes life difficult for plant roots.
4. Tomato Blight typically occurs with prolonged moisture, rain or humid conditions. Most pest attacks are secondary problems that occur because the plant was stressed and in a weakened state. Try to keep your soil and plants on the dry side.
Tomatoes and peppers need only an inch or two of water a week. Besides, thirsty plants will send their roots out further and deeper in the search of a water source.