pastrycheffowler
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How Much Water & Sun for Tomato and Bell Pepper?

Hello everyone, i have a german quen strain of beefsteak tomatoes and a purple beaty bell pepper in seedling stage. they seem to be groing out but i am curious as to how much water and sun i need to give these plants every day. is there to much?

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

pastrycheffowler wrote:Hello everyone, i have a german quen strain of beefsteak tomatoes and a purple beaty bell pepper in seedling stage. they seem to be groing out but i am curious as to how much water and sun i need to give these plants every day. is there to much?
Tomatoes and bell peppers like sun. Not sure if you are growing them in pots or in the ground since you haven't mentioned that. If in pots, they will need more water than if in the ground since pots tend to dry out quicker.

You can over water tomato plants and when this is done the tomatoes will split open as they ripen. I had that happen to me several times over the years when getting heavy rainfall for days on end when they were ripening. It just comes with the territory.

I live in Zone 9 in New Orleans and our summers get very hot, so I water at least 3 times a week, and pretty deep watering when I do.

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rainbowgardener
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Can't answer your question without more information. As gumbo said, it makes a big difference whether these are in containers or in the ground. Also where you are located. I am in Ohio. My in ground tomatoes will benefit from as much sun as I can give them, all day direct sun. People in the south with super hot summers, need to give their tomatoes protection from hot afternoon sun.
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pastrycheffowler
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terribly sorry, i live in southern California, 20 miles or so from the beach, the sun is a little intense this time of year. these plants arr all in a line in my backyard. and they get great sunlight from roughly7am till about 6pm. everything is in pots too. my bell peppers and tomatoes are in a 2x2 ft wooden box with a wooden back frame for vines.

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You are near the coast so do you have a coastal climate?

https://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zo ... 000067298/

If your summer temperatures go over 85 degrees you can expect bell peppers and tomatoes to stop producing or dropping blossoms from the heat.

Heat tolerant tomatoes will still produce in higher temperatures as long as they stay under 100 degrees.

Heat tolerant tomatoes are HeatwaveII, Arkansas Traveller, and Super Sioux. Cherry tomatoes can handle heat better than big tomatoes.

https://www.tomatodirt.com/heat-tolerant ... eties.html

If it does get very hot in summer, shading or planting something like squash on an overhead trellis can help provide shade for some plants.

This is my sunset climate zone H2

I live at 603 ft above sea level in Central Oahu and I am 5-9 degrees cooler than the coast and get a little bit more rain, but not as much as the windward side.

Max temperatures in summer can get into the low 100's. Only the most heat resistant tomatoes will continue to produce fruit in the high 80's. Bell peppers are grown in the cooler parts of the year.

Hot peppers on the other hand can handle the heat. Tabasco peppers do very well even in the heat.

I can also grow heat tolerant cucumbers. Suyo long is a favorite variety that does well even in 80 plus temperatures which are the norm.

If your temperatures get fairly high, you could consider varieties that are recommended for your area that are heat resistant.

https://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zo ... 000067732/
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rainbowgardener
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OK summer in southern calif, with plants in containers, it will be hard to give them too much water (assuming your containers have good drainage). Depending on what is in the pots you will likely need to water every day, maybe even twice a day in heat of summer.

You said everything is in pots in a line in the backyard and then you said tomatoes and peppers are in a 2x2 box. So what is in the pots? Is that the strawberries and watermelons from your other thread? Anything else?

A 2x2 box is about enough room for ONE tomato plant. Is it sitting on the ground so that the plant can root down into the native soil? If yes, it won't need to be watered quite as much. Water deeply but a little less often. Mulch over the top of the soil.
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pastrycheffowler
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yes the items from my other posts are in the other pots lined up with these, and they are put on concrete, so they cant go into native soil.

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

Purple beauty bell pepper
Image

German Queen beefsteak tomato
Image

Please tell me if you see any problems or if they look good and healthy

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

Bell pepper is not at all thriving, may die- very yellowed, curled leaves. I wouldn't have set a plant that tiny in the ground yet. Tomato looks better but still a bit pale and not quite thriving. Soil looks hard and dry and is likely lacking in nutrients. Sorry, but you asked.
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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

I agree with rainbowgardener.

In line with what I said in the other thread (strawberry and watermelon), and to help these plants grow better, I think best way to proceed would be to fill these boxes higher and bury both tomato AND pepper to an inch or two below full sized leaf so they can root further up the stem. You'll want to add more nutrients and mulch the surface to retain moisture.

I would start by scratching in some fertilizer according to package instructions for the size of the container/size of the plants. (FWIW I am taking the easy way out this year and trying Dr. Earth all purpose 4-4-4 for the initial feeding, then Tomato and Vegetable 5-7-3 later on -- I'm NOT PROMOTING DR. E... It's just that I went to my local hardware store's annual one day only 20% off sale and they stock full line of Dr. E products... :oops: ), THOROUGHLY WATER, then start filling with premium potting mix containing added mycorrhiza, then "mulch" the top 1-2" with straight compost.

The mycorrhizae will help break down these woody mulch like materials into nutrients for the plants. The fertilizer will support them until that happens.

Be aware too that the wooden container will evaporate and dry out faster so you'll need to be diligent about watering. You may want to make some helpers by poking a few small holes in plastic soda/water bottles, burying them in the corners of the container and filling with water. (You want them to drain out slowly, not all at once -- experiment before burying them. Oh -- keep the caps and put them on after filling each time to keep out the mosquitoes.) When you do water, make sure to thoroughly soak the wooden containers from the outside as well.

As these plants grow, keep adding more potting mix and compost until the box is filled to just two inches below the rim. You want to give them as much soil volume as possible.
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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

Yep, those are some hungry, hungry plants! And I understand what you mean about the sun being intense, even if it's not a million degrees. You may want to get some shade cloth to cover them in the afternoon come mid-May. Assuming they were properly hardened off, they should be loving the sun til then!

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

thanks for your input everyone, i purchased some potting soil from Kellogg and some more vegetable compost. i put a good 3-4 inches of the compost in with the tomato plant and then a 1 inch layer of potting mix, a little less of the compost on the bell pepper, how often should i be pulling out soil and adding more compost? also i have 2 32 ounce jars of "worm casting" that i got for 2 bucks a pop at a farmers market, but have no idea of how to use it. everything else got a good amount of compost then potting soil as well, suddenly all my plants seem so small again because i did make sure to go right up underneath the first set of leaves. im very grateful for forums like these because without em i would be losing plants like no tomorrow.

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

It's beginning to seem pretty mysterious. From what you are telling us you started with good enriched organic soil (I don't remember if you said was it topsoil, potting soil, seed starting mix -- hopefully not, seed starting mix is sterile, without nutrients) and have been adding lots of good stuff. And yet your plants are acting like they are in desert sand.

These are all in containers? Any native soil or just the bagged stuff?

If they don't perk up with the recent additions, this would be where I would think about getting your soil mix tested to see what is going on. If you started with good soil, you shouldn't have to be pulling any out, just adding nutrients from time to time (this would be things like fish emulsion, kelp extract added to the water, or bone meal, blood meal scratched in to the soil).

There isn't anything funky you aren't telling us? (like you planted them still in the peat pots?)
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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

i purchased"soil" from a local organic grower, they make it themselves with worm casting and compost, my thoughts are that it wasn't distributed properly or something, now my plants are all perking up with the exception of the strawberry and watermelon, the watermelon has brown spots that are getting bigger, and the leaves from the strawberry are almost all dry and brown. i received quite a bit of fruit of this strawberry plant, so im wondering if it is done for the season. any thoughts on why the brown spots on my watermelon plant are getting bigger?

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

My tomatoes looked like that when I had used a potting soil that was 60% compost.

I usually do not use potting soils that contain more than 20% compost.

Are you sure you got potting soil and not garden soil? The particles are fairly big and looks more like compost or garden soil. Garden soil is not intended to be used in pots. It can steal nitrogen from your plants.

Tomatoes and peppers are heavy feeders. How much fertilizer and what kind do you use?

If your pots are on concrete, they may heat up more as the days get hotter. You might want to double pot or shield some of your pots when it gets hotter.
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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

the bag of fertilizer i purchased was Kellogg vegetable fertilizer. my tomatoes seem to be darkening out a little bit. i contacted the woman i purchasd the soil from and she said it is for everything, and that the herbs and veggies i am growing should be fine in it, then stated that i must of done something wrong when placing the plants in the pots

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

There's only a couple things I can think of that you can do wrong putting the plants in pots. Over or under watering or leaving too much air pockets, not compacting the soil around the plant roots so that they are in contact with the soil. Short of those things, the problem would be in the soil, not what you did.
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pastrycheffowler
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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

ok so how do i make sure that i get proper compaction now that everything is planted? do i uproot them and compact the soil then replant? and as far as watering goes i water when the first 1.5 inches of the soil seems dry, which recently has been no more than 2 times a day but i don't pour too much water into the pots in the morning because there is standing water and im not sure if this is bad or not. or if its ok for there to be standing water for a little bit, you al have been very helpful and i am starting to learn some important things.

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

The compaction should be fine, you don't want it packed down hard any way. Just when you plant it, you want to kind of press the soil down around the plant a little. Then water it (this is the only time I water from the top for seedlings in containers), which generally results in the soil settling some. Add a little more soil and LIGHTLY press it down.

But what you said about watering didn't make any sense to me:

as far as watering goes i water when the first 1.5 inches of the soil seems dry, which recently has been no more than 2 times a day but i don't pour too much water into the pots in the morning because there is standing water a

Watering two times a day sounds like probably too much. It is possible they would need that if they are outdoors in containers with well draining soil, in full sun and it is hot and dry. But I think last time you mentioned temps, it was warm, but not hot. But it is completely contradictory to say that the soil is dry and there is standing water. Are you telling us you are watering from the bottom AND the top? DON'T do that! If you are bottom watering, you have to trust that the soil is wicking the water up, even if you can't feel it on the surface. The surface is not what you care about anyway. You care about the root zone. If there is still water in the tray the next morning, don't add more and don't water from the top. If you read applestar's posts, she doesn't even let the water stay in the tray. She puts water in the tray, lets the soil and plant suck it up for some amount of time, and then sucks any extra back out of the tray with a turkey baster. Let the soil and the plant do what they do and absorb it. I don't bother with sucking the excess water back out, but it is because I am quite careful with adding water, just like a quarter inch in the bottom of the tray, just enough so it touches the soil. And if there is any left the next day, I don't add more.

The one thing I would say about that is if you added your quarter of an inch of water in the tray, and two days later it is still sitting there, something is wrong. Either your soil is way too moisture holding, the drainage holes are clogged so the soil can't contact it, or the plant died or hardly has any root system or something, so that it can't take up water.

Sometimes it is really hard to help people remotely... neither of us knows what you don't know :) . But keep asking questions and letting us know what is going on and we will get this sorted out!
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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

oh so i have been going about this completley wrong, i have to place waster in the trays under the plants, man i feel stupid right now. ok perfect so not that i know that i can make sure i stop watering the tops of the plants. as far as what i know, i know literally only whats been said in the forum postings i created. i just have 1 more question for now, my wooden boxes for a cpl of my plants have no way of watering from underneath, how d i water them properly?

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

NO! You can water from the bottom but you don't have to. Some people chose too but I do not. What it sounded like is you are watering from the top and from the bottom. Which would be a problem. How much are you giving the plants?

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

i was watering them 1-2 times a day depending on how dry the top soil was in the evening, i have watered today because the trays at the bottom of the containers are full, but i did water the bell peppers and the tomatoes because there is no tray at the bottom of the wooden boxes. my bell pepper plant is sprouting new leaves but the old leaves are bright green and today one fell off, for them i was thinking of burying a full water-bottle with small holes in it to keep the soil moist.

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

See we are just trying to help and figure out what is going on just by what you are telling us, which is not always clear. I was trying to make sense out of how you could say you water twice a day because it seemed so dry AND there is standing water, which are contradictory. The only thing I could think was there was standing water in the bottom, but the top surface was still dry, so you were watering from the top, while there was standing water at the bottom, which would be a big no-no.

But RA is right, you can water from top or bottom, just not both.

The soda bottle trick works, if you can make sure the water drips out slowly. Remember you want your soil slightly damp, not soggy.
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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

I live fairly close to you (well we are both in southern california) and you do NOT need to be watering 1-2 times a day. You should be watering 1-2 times a week. If the tray under the pot is full you do not need to water. If you are watering from the top and it is full then that is bad and it is water logged. Then you should empty it out. You do not want them in standing water. Stick your finger a few inches down into the soil and it is moist then do not water it. When it gets on the dry side then it needs water. When you do water you want to water just enough that it runs out of the bottom.

I second what Rainbow said. I have a feeling that your plants are not doing well because you are overwatering.

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

ok perfect, im sorry my messages are a bit difficult to understand, i really am having a hard time explaining exactly whats going on or what has happened, but i appreciate the help.

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ReptileAddiction
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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

No problem :D

pastrycheffowler
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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

so a little update on how my plants are doing. the tomato is doing great in fact it is floweeing. the bell pepper is back to a dark green, but its not growing very fast, and its getting munched on.

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Re: tomato and bell pepper questions

Good to hear! I bet that it is snails munching on the bell pepper. Do you see the shiny trails that snails leave behind? If you post pictures of the damage we could help you before it gets to bad.

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