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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:20 pm
Location: Connecticut

Overhead watering

I always hear people say not to water tomato plants from above & to not get the leaves wet. What about when it rains? That's what happens naturally! I also recently read where overhead watering was GOOD because it allows the water to pick up oxygen from the air.


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Posts: 230
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:52 am
Location: North Georgia

Hello, Zap. I think the conventional wisdom behind the practice of not getting the tomato plant too wet is that a wet plant encourages fungal and bacterial breeding grounds. The tomato is succeptible to a wide variety of pathogens that could be present even in healthy soil. Their major point of entry to the plant is through the leaves. Watering from above encourages the soil containing these pathogens to splash up on the plant and leaves, and from there absorbed throughout the plant.

I think a lot of gardeners assume that if something bad can happen, it will, so they choose the 'ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' truth and choose to water the plants in a way to prevent the whole issue.
Of course, we can't do much about the rain :) it does the same thing. But plants held up away from the soil with cages and stakes, and trimming some of the lower leaves help with what we can't control.

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