Watering Tomatoes & Watering Plants With Soft Drinks

Question:

 We've been planting a vegetable garden for a long time, but the tomato plants have looked very sad in the past few years. The garden is in the same spot, but we always add fresh soil and mix it with the old soil. How often should we be watering the tomato plants?

Answer:

  • The vegetable garden location doesn't need to change from year to year, but where you plant your tomato plants does. Verticillium Wilt is a soil-borne vascular disease that can't be treated. Rotating the location of the plants and planting resistant varieties, are the two cultural practices recommend.
  • There is no simple answer as to how often to water tomato plants. There are far too many variables that influence the frequency, like temperature, size of the plants, soil type, and how quickly do it drains. This is compounded by the multitude of microclimates we have. Also, we fall into a rut and water our tomato plants in August as we did in May.
  • Watering tomatoes is an inexact science.
    • Here is one method you can use to determine what is the best watering schedule for your tomatoes.
      • You water your plants thoroughly like you usually would do, mark the date on a calendar, and record the afternoon temperature. The plants are not watered again until they begin to wilt.
      • When the plant's wilt, you again mark the date and temperature on a calendar, water the plants, and wait for them to wilt. You now take the data and average the length of time it took for the plant to wilt and the average temperatures.
      • This information answers the question of how often do I water my tomato plants. I water my plants' X' (number of days before the plant's wilt) minus one day when the temperature average is 'Y.' 'X' and 'Y' become the norm for your yard.
      • You then adjust the watering schedule based on the norm. When it gets hotter, you shorten up the frequency or lengthen it out when it gets cooler. In small vegetable gardens, combining tomatoes with peppers, squash, and cucumbers can be a problem.
    •  Tomatoes are overwatered more times than not.

Question:

 Is it advisable to water plants with leftover soft drinks? Are there any beneficial nutrients for plants?

Answer:

  • Basically, sugary sodas do not aid in a plant's development, and in fact, high sugar content retard the absorption of nutrients and water, resulting in death. So, frequent applications are discouraged.
  • Diet sodas may help stimulate plant growth since the lack of sugar will easily allow the water molecules to move to the roots. However, the effects of diet soda and plants are generally negligible over tap water and far more costly.
  • Club soda and carbonated flavored water seem to benefit from their high concentration of nutrients favored for plant growth.
  • While water is the best choice for plants, carbonated water or soda will certainly not harm your plants and may even result in larger, healthier, and more vividly green plants.  (The internet was helpful guide in answering this question. )