QUESTION: What are the signs of overwatering tomato plants?
ANSWER: Overwatered tomato plants can look a lot like underwatered plants, so if you are having a hard time telling the difference, pay attention to whether you see these signs when the soil around plants is still moist.
Overwatered plants may have wilted or yellowed stems and leaves, or the leaves might develop bumps and blisters or fall off entirely if plants continue to get too much water.
Another way to tell overwatered plants from underwatered ones, once the case is severe enough, is to check the roots. A plant that has received too much water for a long time may have roots that turn dark in color, in contrast to the pale color of healthy roots, or the roots may have a slimy texture.
You can rescue an overwatered plant in some cases by gently pulling it up, shaking off excess dirt, and resting the roots on a stack of two or three newspapers. Leave the plant on the newspapers until much of the excess water has soaked up.
Then plant it again in a container that just fits its roots, filling in around the plant with compost. If too much rain is the culprit, you can always hang a plastic sheet or tarp over an overwatered plant, removing the sheet when rainfall ceases.
Allen Todd says
The bottom of my tomatoes are rotting people said it’s bloom rot what do you do fort. Thank you very much for your help
Tracy DeCann says
Add crushed egg shells to the soil every Spring
Israel ortiz says
Lack of calcium! Eggs shells are good, or can get some calcium nitrate, and epsom salt
Karen Quinn says
You can also just give them some whole milk. My cherry tomatoes had blossom end rot last year and a gallon of whole milk stopped it in its tracks!
A gallon per plant??? Or how many plants did the Gallon do. TIA
Give ’em CalMag…
Dan Trapp says
This page was helpful, however using more picture examples would help. Thanks.
I planted 4 better girl tomato plants and 3 have produced and about ready to be done for the year. The Fourth one the plant is huge and has many yellow buds that are not drying out and yellowing. I have picked many from the other plants. This one has healthy buds but not produced any tomatoes. What is the problem with it?
Dennis the Menace. says
I am mot an expert, but in my reading I cane across this as sometimes over fertilizing will sometimes grow plants like crazy that are so busy overachieving growth that they don’t move on to the fruit production stage.
My tomatoes last year cracked so deeply that I lost a lot of fruit, particularly on the largest tomatoes. Any idea what caused this.
Chris Heffner says
I just read that splitting fruit is from too much water. The plant absorbs too much into the fruit and it explodes. Don’t water and cover the plants with plastic if it’s raining often in your area.
Hydroponic Tomatoes use no soil and don’t crack.
Cracking is usually due to the plant going from a very dry soil to very wet quickly. Yes, the overwatering can then cause the tomatoes to “burst”. But ultimately it’s because they were not getting sufficient water to begin with. ?
Chris H, Thank you! We had a very very wet late summer with tons of rain and I really thought it was maybe too much water, but wasn’t sure. That’s a good idea to cover the soil with plastic. Might be tricky to get a plastic sheet big enough to cover my raised bed, but if we have conditions like this again, I’m going to try that!
Karen Quinn says
It can also be from inconsistent watering. Letting them dry out and then soaking them, they take up the water quickly and it splits the fruit
I’m going to use a soaker hose in my garden rows. But I know tomatoes need more water. How much, quarts, gallons per day. I only watered each tomato a gallon ev other day and I had a good amount of produce. But, again the bottom leaves, branches turn yellow and died. I was told that was normal.
What do u think?
I have snap all bottom. Branches off its gets you blooms higher on the plants more tomatoes ALSO break off any yellow or pull dead leaves.I take scissors .
My tomatoe plant looked healthy until recently the leaves wilted growth of smaller tomatoes have stopped and some have dried out. Also the stem is brown it has plenty of water and plant food don’t know what I did wrong
You may need to treat your plants with Neem oil. The same thing happened to me for two years in a row until I discovered that the culprit was thrip and aphids. They will suck the juice from the stalks and then the plant will slowly die. Weekly treating of Neem oil will solve the problem.
Keefer, I have severe aphid problem right now on my Irises. Do you think I can treat them with neem oil, too? I am at a loss as to what to do. Don’t want to resort to toxic pesticides but crushing them with my fingers isn’t getting me anywhere and these are inherited irises and have much sentimental value.
Neem oil forces pest insects to seek nurishmrnt elsewhere. It relocates them. Once you quit using it, they can return. If you use neem oil do everything so the pests will need to move to a neighbor’s garden, not the plants that were not neem sprayed.
I have to cut off all lower branches.And any branch that turned with yellow leaves on.This gives more nutrients to the tomatoes. above.
Linda Micco Richmond says
I have so much trouble knowing how much and when to water! It’s really hard for me not to overwater or underwater. I water by hand using a hose sprayer on shower. It’s a guessing game for me.
You can get a cheap soil water tester from Amazon.
Get a moisture meter with long prongs and it can read how moist dry or wet it is 6 inches down.
My main crop tomatoes seemed to have stopped growing and tomatoes are turning black before they develop I am sure it is not blossom end rot.
Why are the leaves on my tomatoes curling?