Soaker Hoses for Tomatoes

One of the secrets of growing tomatoes is making sure they get the appropriate nutrients and water. These two factors will go a long way in determinig whether the tomato will thrive or not. More essentially, properly watering the fruit will prevent it from dying out.

While your tomatoes need to be watered to grow, let’s point out that overwatering it is a problem on its own. Overwatering can cause the flowers to drop off even before the tomatoes are formed – not to mention that it can destroy the leaves of plants, thereby reducing production.

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Underwatering, on its own is detrimental to the plant. If the plant don’t get enough water, they may wilt, and the fruit will not form either. Even if the fruit forms, the size of the tomato will be very small and poorly nourished.

How to Grow Tomatoes

One of the things you need to consider before growing your tomatoes is the soil type. Planting tomatoes require soil that drains well. In this case, sandy loam is your best bet. Sandy soil drains water rapidly, and clay soil is not an option either because it’s difficult to drain water.

If the soil is sandy, there is still a way to make it suitable for growing tomatoes. What you need to do is to add compost and any other organic material. Mulching the surface will also help as this will reduce the amount of water that is being drained. If the water doesn’t drain still, then you should think of creating raised beds and filling it with the appropriate soil.

Methods of Watering Your Tomatoes

There are several ways whereby you can water your tomatoes. You can water your tomatoes using dip irrigation system, sprinklers, hoses like soaker hoses, and others. You should know that watering tomatoes is slightly different from other plants. You need to water them at their deepest root level. This will result in better root development as well as stronger tomatoes. This will also result to greater production over a long period.

For some reasons, avoid watering the leaves of tomatoes frequently. This is because when they are damp, they can spread bacteria and fungal diseases. That is why watering tomatoes deep is the best way to get the best out of your tomatoes.

Using Soaker Hoses

Tomatoes thrive in moist soils, and using a soaker hose is one of the best ways to achieve the aim of maintaining moist soil. Soaker hoses are great garden hoses, and are extremely important in the garden. Since they seep water along its length, this long, porous hose can literally keep the soil around your tomatoes moist. Using a soaker hose is a great way of irrigating your tomatoes, while avoiding wet foliage. 

How to Water Your Tomatoes with Soaker Hoses 

What you need

  • Soaker hose
  • Mulch 
  • Trowel for digging spade. 
  • Position the soaker hose according to the length and width of your tomato beds. In essence, your configuration depends on how your tomatoes are planted. If they are planted in a row, then you should position the hose in a straight line. If the tomatoes are not planted in rows, then you should weave the soaker hose between plants. Also if you have wide beds, you can equally weave your hose around plants. Run the hose up on one side and down the other side if it’s a short bed. Water will still seep along the length of the hose to water the soil. 
  • Remove the cap and connect the end of the soaker hose to the nozzle of your garden hose. Turn on the water faucet slowly so as to moisten the soaker hose before increasing the water to the appropriate pressure. 
  • As you experiment with you soaker hose, you need to find the most appropriate water pressure, penetration, and timing intervals. Dig a spade around the bed to determine the depth level of your water. If the water dries too quickly, then you should elongate your timing so as to allow the water get deeper around the tomatoes. 
  • Cover the hose with some layers of organic mulch to avoid water evaporating from the porous surface. Ensure you keep the mulch away from the tomato leaves. 

Other Methods of Irrigating Tomatoes

Using Dip Irrigation System 

Dip irrigation system is another way of delivering water to the depth of tomatoes roots to facilitate its growth. The concept of dip irrigation system is simple – they run water through small tubes directly to the base of the plant. This system focuses irrigation on the plant, not the soil, and that is how they come about preventing water from being wasted. 

How to Water Your Tomatoes with Dip Irrigation System 

What you need

  • Hose bib
  • Emitters 
  • ¼ – inch drip-line tubes. 
  1. Determine how much submain you need to get water from your hose outlet. This is done by using a tape to measure it. Don’t let the total run exceed 400 feet. Cut the submain to the correct length and keep it under the sun to warm. 
  2. Connect one end of the submain to your garden hose with a bib. A hose bib or simply a bib consists of an adapter, pressure reducer, filter, and coupler. After your submain is warmed up, it will become somewhat flexible. Position it in your garden to suite the shape and size of the garden. 
  3. Adhere an emitter into the submain whenever it’s close to the plant. Each end of an emitter has a connecting barb. If the submain is a few inches farther away from the tomato plant, measure the distance. Then connect a ¼ – inch drip-line tubing to the emitter barb, and connect the barb to the submain. Repeat this process for the second emitter and attach it to the other loose end of the tubing. Position it near the plant. 
  4. Now that you are done connecting, it is time to test your dip irrigation system. Determine how long you need to run it in order to ascertain the right quantity of water that your plant needs. Remember not to water for long. If you see a small pool of water in the soil, it means that you have overwatered. You can use the digging a spade technique to determine the quantity of water your plant needs. 

Using a Watering Wand 

This is probably the easiest of all watering methods. A watering wand is a long, hollow stick that you can bury near the base of the tomato plants. They convey water directly to the roots of the plants, thereby eliminating the chances of the foliage getting wet. 

How to Water Your Plants Using the Wand Method 

There is no complex tutorial on how to water your tomatoes using this method. Just dig a deep hole near the plant and plant the wand. Fill the wand with water every morning through your hose. Be careful not to overwater to avoid having a waterloo. 

Using the Bottle Technique 

You can find those old, redundant plastic, soft drink bottles and use them as watering devices for your plants. It’s quite cheap and easy to do. This technique is an ancient one and still popular among the locals today. 

How to Water Your Plants Using the Bottle method 

What you need

  • Old plastic, soft drink bottle. 
  • A pair of scissors or a sharp knife. 
  • Drill bit. 
  1. Get an old bottle.
  2. Use a pair of scissors or a knife to cut the bottom of the bottle. 
  3. Drill about two to three holes in the lid or cap using a drill bit. 
  4. Bury the bottle upside down at about 30 – 45° angle. The bottle should be buried four to six inches away from the stem of the tomato. About one to two inches of the bottle should stick above soil surface. 
  5. Fill the bottle every morning with water. The water will get to the depth of the soil to keep the soil around the tomato moist. You can also fill the bottle with liquid fertilizer as well. The water or fertilizer will slowly drip from the bottle until it waters the root of the plant. 

This technique is best for new tomato seedlings, as it doesn’t disturb other tomato plants with a more developed root. 

How Long Should You Water Tomatoes?

Like we earlier mentioned, both underwatering and overwatering of tomato plants could prove fatal and detrimental to the development of the plant. You need to ensure that they get adequate and consistent water supply. Tomatoes need to get at least an inch of water every week. Do the calculation to find out how much your water your large area will need. If the weather is hot, then you should increase the amount of water to about 1 ½ inches. 

Generally, 1 -6 minutes is enough time for you to water your tomato plant, depening on how large the area is and the type of watering method you are using. If you are watering by hand, then you should prepare to water your garden for a longer time, even if your garden is not very big.

What is the Best Time to Water Your Tomato Plants?

The best time to water tomatoes is in the morning so that the plants will be completely dried before night.

Conclusion

Growing tomatoes is pretty much easy if you know the processes involved. For the growth of the plant, you need to water it deeply because the root is where it really needs the water. 

With several watering techniques discussed here, you can apply anyone and it will be good to your plant, provided you follow the steps. You can also extend this watering technique to other veggies as well such as peppers and eggplants. Remember to choose the method that best suits your garden, and don’t limit your creativity. You can still get better ways of watering your tomatoes deep, aside the ones mentioned here. 

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