Its  time once more to think about our tomatoes, its amazing how many people grow a few of their own if they grow nothing else. Below is a watering table developed around 2004 by the then Fairfield Experimental Station in Lancashire. First heard of it at a garden club talk eight years ago, have found it quite reliable.


Very dull dark cloudy most of the day ¼ – ½ 0.14 0,28

Dull cloud overcast most of the day ½ – ¾ 0.28 -0.42

Sunny cloudy with bright periods 1 ¼ – 1 ½ 0.71 -0.85

Sunny only an odd cloud 2 -2 ¼ 1.10 -1.20

Very sunny clear sky 3-3 ¼ 1.50-1.80

Have found this quite reliable, also at the same time I came across some notes I made during a Charles Maisey talk on growing tomatoes. Charles is one of the top tomato growers in the country, he advised Joe Swift a few years back when Joe did the TV program and entered tomatoes and carrots at Chelsea. He answered a question Beanstew asked a couple of days ago regarding  Calcified sea weed,  instead of folier spraying with Calcium Carbonate he worked just a tea spoon of Calcified seaweed into the planting hole

13 Responses

  1. cilla says:

    Are these figures per plant Tony? Are they pints and litres?

  2. Beanstew says:

    Hallelujah! An answer to my question about calcified seaweed, unfortunately a day or so too late to place it under the plants – but will excavate (they are planted deeply to increase root) and get some into the developing root area. My chemistry is hazy nowadays, but I thought it might work – and if its good enough for Charles Maisey, its definitely good enough for me. Watering guide very useful too, and I’m making a note of it. Thanks Tony.

  3. dandlyon says:

    Amount per plant Cilla pints and litres, when I did it in word it was nicely spaced out , copy and paste and it shrunk :scratch:

  4. karenp says:

    Watering guide is definitely very useful, thanks Tony :good:

  5. Thanks for that help, Tony ;good:

  6. cilla says:

    What is the best way to water cucumbers to avoid rotting? The first year I grew them, I knew nothing about growing them and had lots of fruits. Last year they rotted. I am getting paranoid now about watering them :wacko:

  7. spud says:

    Is the watering guide per day per week ?.As it do not say . it will be very useful so hanks. :good:

  8. dandlyon says:

    Spud its daily depending on the amount of sunshine the chart says cloudy day, sunny day etc

    Cilla with cucumbers try to keep water off the base of the stem, either plant the cucumber on a mound and water round the bottom of the mound, or sink a plastic bottle at the side of the plant when planting out ,cut the bottom off the bottle and put it in neck end first, then just fill the bottle to water its also a way to add a weak liquid feed

  9. cilla says:

    Thanks Tony and Bean. They have been planted in final pots for about a week so still time to sink a small plastic bottle.

  10. cilla says:

    Does the amount of water apply to soil grown toms because 3 and 1/2 pints of water seems an awful lot for a pot.

  11. dandlyon says:

    Cilla these figures for growing in greenhouse borders, or on one of the ring culture variations. On very hot days pot grown tomatoes would use the same amount of water, but it would need to be applied through out the day or the pot would flood. Around 90% of a plants water content is lost through the pores on the leaves alone. This table refers to full grown plants at summer time, and taking into account the type of day it is . On a cloudy dark, cool and windless day tomatoes in a greenhouse would be on tick over, 1/4 -1/2 a pint of water.
    On a very hot still day a green house would have the vents and doors open to cool the greenhouse down. The hot air goes out through the roof vent and cooler air moves into the bottom of the green house, this then warms up and rises giving a chimney effect. This quick passage of air over the plants, makes it difficult for the plants to transport water quick enough causing even healthy well watered plants to wilt, they recover as the temperature falls during the night.
    Only added that extra info as it helps sometimes to know what’s going on with your plants

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