Are the tomatoes on your balcony cracked, have yellowed leaves or rotten roots? Don't despair: learn how to water your tomatoes so that they thrive and adorn your outdoor oasis. Five basic watering tips.
In the afternoon you come home from work, the sun is beating down on your balcony plants, so you grab your watering can and treat your tomatoes to a good watering. Do you find yourself doing this all the time? Then presumably your tomatoes aren't looking too healthy, nor like flaming-red little plants. Please note that if you want to water your tomatoes, then it's best to do it first thing in the morning. This means they can absorb the moisture the whole day through and you reduce the risk of rot. You should use lukewarm water if the soil is still cool.
It's not just all about the timing, you also need to think about the way you water your tomatoes. Never water the leaves of your plants, otherwise brown rot can develop. This cannot always be avoided as the leaves often grow near the roots. You can remove the deep-growing foliage once your tomatoes are strong enough.
Cracked tomatoes indicate that you are not watering them evenly. Even the smallest differences in moisture turn gutsy plants into squishy tomatoes. On very hot days you may want to water them that bit more so that your little love apples pull through. Otherwise, water your tomatoes consistently. Everything in moderation.
As a rule, on the balcony, grow your tomatoes in tubs or in pots. When watering, it's all about feeling with your fingers. Because unlike flowerbeds, the water is not able to drain away so easily. You risk water-logging if you water tomatoes too generously. However you must moisten the entire root bale, which isn't so easy to do. The classic thumb test won't get you very far. Tip: bore a hole in the soil on the side and seal it using a cone-shaped dowel. When you pull it out, you can check whether the root bales are moist or dry. If water happens to have built up, you can easily let it drain out via the side opening.
If your tomatoes are in a location which is sheltered from the rain, there is no natural irrigation. However there is a simple trick for giving them a consistent supply of water. You just need a PET bottle. Cut off the bottom of the bottle and plant it upside down next to the plant in the soil. Now fill the bottle with water. Hey presto, your plant's thirst gets quenched constantly.