The Q&A Archives: Tomato Drying Up

Question: My tomato leaves are curling up. I read about how you can overwater them and they curl, but here in Morristown, NJ it has been dry for months. They are directly in the ground and the first 3 inches I dug into is dry. It was too hard to dig down more. Could the leaves be curling because it is too dry?

Answer: In a word, yes. Tomatoes really need an evenly moist (but not soggy) soil. According to the old rule of thumb, this means about an inch or two of water a week from either the sky or the hose. Most gardeners find it helpful to dig down and see how effective their watering is, and then can tell how much to apply at a time. An occasional slow deep soaking is better than a daily light sprinkling, and a few inches of organic mulch will help hold the moisture and keep the soil cool. Even during an average summer there are times when you need to water them. This summer is an exceptionally dry one.

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