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.
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.
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.
What you need
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.
What you need
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.
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.
What you need
This technique is best for new tomato seedlings, as it doesn’t disturb other tomato plants with a more developed root.
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.
The best time to water tomatoes is in the morning so that the plants will be completely dried before night.
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.