Drip irrigation has turned out to be the best method for irrigating the crops. Many crops fail due to the lack of water. Water is the main reason for the growth and if the water is supplied at the right time then we can get maximum production. Drip irrigation is the best solution for the drought hit areas or the areas with low water. Hence, with drip irrigation for tomatoes, you can cultivate tomatoes with ease.
Advantages of Drip Irrigation System
Drip irrigation system has a lot of advantages when compared with the other systems which may include the following:
- Since the water is allowed to flow to a particular area, the flooding of the area is greatly reduced.
- Only 1/10th or 1/20th of the water required for the normal cultivation is needed.
- Drippers ensure that the water percolates well into the ground. In the case of the sprinkler systems the bushes present on the surface doesn’t allow the water to pass into the ground.
- It also reduces the attack of pests to a greater extent, as the humid conditions are required for the growth of the pests. But in this system, the humidity is reduced to a greater extent, as the water is well directed into the soil.
- It also prevents the washout of the top soil by the water as the water is concentrated in the form of the drops at a particular area.
Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation System
- Drip irrigation system is more expensive than the traditional systems, but once the system has been constructed then your tomatoes and other plants will not suffer from the lack of water.
- The life span of the drip irrigation system is also less usually 10 to 15 years.
- The drippers must be replaced if the periodic flushing is not carried out which further adds to the cost.
- Drip irrigation system is popular among the commercial growers and now-a-days it is also becoming popular among the small scale farmers and gardeners as well. On the whole the drip irrigation system is the best technique to irrigate your field without much wastage of water.
How to make drip irrigation for tomatoes & other plants
1. Make a hole in the bottom of a plastic bucket and fill it with water, using a screen to keep it clean. Make a support that will not fall down in a strong wind. The higher the bucket is, the faster the water will drip. A 200 litter bucket on a 90 centimetre stand can water 200 tomato plants.
2. Use two plastic pipes 15 meters long, placed 60 centimetres apart. Make small holes in the pipes every 30 centimetres, which is the distance between tomato plants. Lay the pipes on the ground with the holes face up, to keep out the dirt.
3. Transplant the tomato seedlings 30 centimetres apart, with one plant on each side of the pipe. Mulch keeps the seedlings cool and moist.
4. Two weeks after transplanting, place one urea super granule and a pinch of NPK fertilizer about one finger deep under each drip.
5. Refill the bucket once every other day or more depending on the soil type and the needs of the plant. Once the plants start flowering, they need more water. Reduce the water when the tomato fruits are fully gown, to speed up ripening.
6. Clean the bucket every week because dirt will block the pipes. Suck the dirt out of the pipes until the water runs clear. Slightly tapping a blocked hole can help to unblock it.