It is generally best to water your garden plants in the morning, and that goes for tomatoes too, but for some of us, that can sometimes be difficult for various reasons. So, what if your schedule doesn’t allow it, or you simply forget one day? Is it then okay to water your tomatoes in the sun?
It is okay to water tomato plants in the sun, although it is better to water them in the morning before the sun rises. Watering tomato plants in the sun can cause some of the water to evaporate before the plant can obtain it, and if water gets on the leaves when it is too warm, they can take damage.
If you water your tomatoes in the sun, there are some things you should know because your plants can actually become damaged if you do it wrong. Lucky for you, I have made this post to tell you precisely how to water your tomatoes in the sun without damaging them, and I also share a tip on how to avoid that the water evaporates faster than your plants can obtain it.
Can You Water Tomato Plants in the Sun?
Tomato plants will generally grow better when they are watered early in the morning before the sun gets too bright, and the temperature gets too warm.
One reason why it is usually best to water your tomatoes in the morning is that if you do that, they will already have water around their roots when the sun becomes bright and the temperatures become warm. That will make them grow and produce better and improve their overall health compared to if they don’t have any water from the morning.
But if, for some reason, you can’t water your tomatoes in the morning or you forget sometimes, you don’t have to worry.
It is best to water tomatoes when they are not in full sun, but you can water them at any time. Although, If you water them when there is full sun, some of the water will often evaporate before it sinks into the ground, so you may need to use more water than if there was no sun.
There is no such thing as a “best time” to water your tomatoes. It depends on the weather. But since the sun is generally not as intense early in the morning as later in the day, the morning is generally (but not always) the best time to water tomatoes.
Don’t worry if you missed your chance to water your tomatoes in the morning and the sun is now shining bright. You can still water them, but there are some things you should know, and I have a few tricks to help you make watering tomatoes in the sun more efficient. I will get into that below.
Best Way to Water Tomatoes in the Sun
As explained earlier in this post, some of the water might evaporate before it sinks into the ground if you water your tomatoes in full sun.
Luckily, I have found some simple tricks that can help you water your tomatoes more efficiently in the sun.
Tip #1 – Water the soil and not the plant
When you water your tomatoes in the sun, it is crucial that you only water the soil and not the plant itself.
If there is water on the leaves, the sun can heat the water, and if it gets too warm, the leaves can get scalded.
Luckily, avoiding this is easy. Just make sure to water the soil under and around the plant and not the plant itself.
Tip #2 – Use 25% more water than usual
When I miss the morning watering for whatever reason, and the sun is shining bright by the time I get to it, I usually like to give my tomatoes a bit of extra water to ensure they get enough.
Use about 25% more water than you would otherwise when watering tomatoes in the sun.
I do this, and I recommend you do it too because, as I mentioned earlier in this post, some of the water will likely evaporate before it sinks into the ground, so this is a way to ensure that your tomato plants get enough.
This can potentially increase the risk of overwatering them, but if you just use about 25% more water than usual, overwatering is generally not something you have to worry about, and if you don’t do it all the time, it’s most likely fine. If you are concerned about overwatering, I recommend that you read this article, where I cover how to identify it, what to do, and how to avoid it in the future.
Tip #3 – Water the roots through a tube or pipe
This is a technique I have seen being used with many different plants but have not actually tried myself since I usually find it sufficient just to use a bit of extra water when I water my tomatoes in the sun.
If you want to make sure the water gets to your tomato plants’ roots before it evaporates, you can dig some holes near the plants and place tubes or pipes in them that lead to their root systems. Then simply water the plant by pouring the water into the tube.
If you do this, you are sure that all the water gets to the plants’ roots and none of it evaporates and goes to waste.
I imagine this can work well with tomatoes that are planted deep in the ground. Planting tomatoes deep in the ground is generally a good idea because it allows the roots to grow more, which leads to healthier, larger plants that produce more.
There are some risks involved with watering tomato plants when it is sunny, but they are easy to avoid if you know about them. Allow me to explain.
Avoid These Mistakes When Watering Tomatoes in the Sun
There are some common mistakes people make when they water tomatoes in the sun, and I have made some of them too.
Since I don’t want you to make the same mistakes as me, I want to share them here and explain how to avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Underwatering
I have already talked briefly about this mistake earlier in this post, but it is very common, so it is worth getting a bit more detailed.
When watering tomatoes in full sun, some water will evaporate before it sinks into the ground, so if you use a regular dose of water, your plants will most likely not get enough and will become underwatered, which can damage or even kill the plant.
- Solution: Use 25% more water than you usually do if you water your tomatoes in full sun.
Mistake #2 – Overwatering
This one is essentially the opposite of the mistake I talked about above, but just as important. Luckily, the solution is essentially the same. Allow me to explain.
A common mistake when watering tomatoes in the sun is to use too much water. It is not uncommon that people use a lot of extra water to help their plants survive the bright sun and the warm temperature, but if you use too much water for an extended period, your plants will become overwatered.
Giving your plant too much water one or two times won’t hurt your plant, but if you overwater it for an extended period, the roots will begin to rot, and when too many roots become rotten, the plant will die.
- Solution: Use no more than 25% extra water when watering tomatoes in full sun.
Mistake #3 – Getting water on the leaves
If you water your tomatoes when the sun is shining, something that can happen is that the plant can actually become scalded if there is water on the leaves.
If there is water on the stems and leaves of a tomato plant and the sun is bright and the temperature high, the water can be heated, which can damage the plant or even kill if it happens repeatedly or for too long.
This mistake is easy to make but luckily also easy to avoid.
- Solution: Make sure to only add water to the soil under and around your tomato plants. Water carefully and make sure the water doesn’t jump and hit the leaves.