Watering Tomatoes Too Much

Question:

I too have planted a tomato garden with a raised bed. I built it 4x4x12" and vented with a 1/4" drain hole below each plant. I have 6 different varieties and 4 seem to be doing quite while 2 are looking slightly yellow, blooms are not producing fruit, and my soil is starting to get a little green tint to the top -algae?- (even pulled a strange looking mushroom out). The temps down here have been constant at 90 plus for the past two weeks and dry with no relief in sight, so I've been watering every other day and soil does not dry out. Am I watering too often? or perhaps I don't have enough drainage? disease?

Any help is welcome
thanks

Jack


Answer:

Hi Jack,

If you have built a raised bed that actually has a solid bottom to it, you for sure need more drainage than the 1/4" holes.

The raised beds I use actually have NO bottom. It's just soil on top of the earth. So drainage is never an issue.

I HAVE seen raised bed kits that are elevated which have bottoms, but honestly I have never looked to see what type of drainage holes they have.

However, the symptoms you are seeing such as; algae, yellowing leaves, etc., all point to too much water. I'm not sure how you would, at this point, add MORE drainage holes unless it is an elevated bed.....but for now, you need to let the soil dry out as much as possible before watering again. After the soils dries out, you can then proceed with a watering schedule where you are only watering when the soil starts to dry out on the first couple of inches.

Hopefully that's all it will take to get your plants thriving again.

So to recap, definitely don't water again until the soil dries out, and most certainly get more drainage in the bed's bottom.


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