I have ½GPH (gallons per hour) drippers watering 3' tall tomato plants in pots. How long and when should I set the timer to water them? They are in an arid climate.

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    What tomato varieties are they? Some are said to require less water (like Punta Banda and Porter). How long does your soil stay wet/moist? Does it drain well? How deep did you plant their roots (if you transplanted)? Make sure your potassium levels aren't deficient (it helps plants absorb water, although they may need more water for up to a few days after giving them potassium). Mar 30, 2017 at 2:31
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    @Shule Beefsteak and St. Pierre. The soil dries quickly. It drains into the dish under the pots if I water them too much. The roots go to the bottom of the ~2' tall pots.
    – Geremia
    Mar 30, 2017 at 19:33
  • Ah, they're in containers. I've never used drip irrigation myself, but with that container and plant size, you'll probably have to water them more than is usual, especially in an arid climate. Larger plants are thirstier. Hopefully someone will be around soon to answer. If you edit your question and add that extra information it'll bump your question up to the top again, and more people will see it. Mar 31, 2017 at 8:10
  • @Shule I've added they're potted.
    – Geremia
    Mar 31, 2017 at 14:17
  • @geremia what zone are you in? Are they outside or inside? If outside, how long are they in direct sunlight vs. shade?
    – JStorage
    Jun 7, 2017 at 20:18

1 Answer 1


I grow my tomatoes in 21" pots and use drip irrigation. I run them 10 minutes twice a day. I also have about 2-3" of cypress mulch on top to help fight evaporation. I sometimes have to adjust this time if we have a rainy spell. Pick a time and try it and then adjust accordingly to dial it in to what works best for your plants. If you have a moisture meter, it will make it easier to see how much water is actually getting down to the root area.

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