required amount of water

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how much water is necessary for each watering of cherry tomatoes in 7 gal containers? I understand that more will be necessary when it heats up. I am in northern VA. where summers are real hot and humid.
thanx to all that have replied to my previous posts.
hn
 
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There is no formula for the amount of water required for a plant. There are too many variables such as soil type, type of container, humidity, temperature, wind, bright sunshine or cloudiness, soil additives such as composts and its makeup. You just have to learn by the plants themselves when to water. Vegetables, especially tomatoes will tell you if they are in need of water. I look at my plants around 8 AM every day. Wilting in the afternoon is normal and NOT to be taken as a sign the plant needs water. If they are wilted in the AM I water them until the soil is completely saturated for the first 2 or 3 inches. In a 5 gallon bucket with my soil this takes about 1 gallon of water. You have to remember that the soil on the surface is dry an inch or two deep but the roots are probably about 4 inches deep and go even deeper, so they may not be dry, only slightly moist. My soil is light and fluffy so a gallon of water goes pretty deep. In heavier soils this changes. The most important thing is to have GOOD drainage. You want any excess water to drain away. And remember that you cannot give a plant too much water when you water. With proper drainage no matter how much you water it won't hurt the plant but if you water too often and water when a plant doesn't need water you will cause serious problems.
 
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If the drainage is reasonable, 2 quarts a day (that's just over 3 pints UK) when it's hot; half that when it's not, or when harvesting tomatoes.
You CAN hurt plants in containers by watering too much; not directly, Chuck is right there, but indirectly, by sluicing out the limited nutrients in containers.
 
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I watered my garden exactly 3 times last year. I have realized for years I have over watered. last year I got more production out of my garden than any other year and watered it the least.

I do what Chuck does but in the PM. right before dark, if plants are drooping, then I water the next morning. if you get in the habit of doing so, you will realize you don't need to water very often.
 
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I watered my garden exactly 3 times last year. I have realized for years I have over watered. last year I got more production out of my garden than any other year and watered it the least.

I do what Chuck does but in the PM. right before dark, if plants are drooping, then I water the next morning. if you get in the habit of doing so, you will realize you don't need to water very often.
There is no contradiction if your plants are in the ground.
Pots can drain and drain quickly.
 
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There is no contradiction if your plants are in the ground.
Pots can drain and drain quickly.
very true. Thank you for pointing that out. I did have Okra, Tomato's and peppers in containers also last year. and you are right. in ground I watered 3 times. in containers I watered 7 times. One of which I didn't really need to as an unexpected storm came in about 4 hours after I watered. so roughly twice as much as in ground.
 

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