Fruit and Vegetables

Tomato irrigation

Irrigation of freshly sown tomatoes

Tomatoes can be sown in full field or in seedbed. In any case, we will take care to avoid exposing the young plant to the last frost. Therefore, in the northern and central parts of Italy, it is advisable to proceed by placing the seeds inside the seedbed or individual jars, at least until reaching about twenty centimeters in height and the arrival of better temperatures. The seeds will germinate only if they exceed 20-25 ° C. For early sowing in February it may be necessary to heat the seedbed or, in any case, place it in a place in the house where we are sure that cold drafts do not arrive. The seedbed should be lightly wet, using a vaporizer to avoid soaking the loaves of earth. We will be able to put some food film over the seedbed by making small holes to let the air pass. In this way humidity will be better retained and will be more constant.

Irrigation and care of young plants

When the plants have put at least two leaves, in addition to those of germination, reaching a height of 15-20 cm, we will be able to think of transferring them if we want to proceed with the cultivation inside containers, or put them directly in place. In both cases we will never have to miss the water and if the spring season is not rainy we will have to intervene in support with a manual watering operation. At this stage, however, it is not advisable to exaggerate because you would risk developing a plant with many leaves, but it will not be very fruit-bearing. For the seedling cultivated inside the pots we will proceed with the watering can, perhaps inserting the head for the water jet to rain, wetting the earth generously if it is dry. In the open field we can water manually or rely on an irrigation system if we have many tomato plants.

Ideal terrain for development

The ideal soil for tomato plant development is loose and well drained. We will have to make a vigorous preventive work reaching at least 45 cm deep with the digging. Then add organic fertilizer, mature manure or even compost. The soil will be left to rest allowing the atmospheric precipitations to act and the earth naturally absorbs the fertilizing substances it needs. Once the soil is ready we will be able to plant the seedlings taking care never to let it dry out completely and intervene with irrigation if necessary. To refresh the soil and to encourage the development of new roots, the plant will have to be tucked up. In other words, we will have to gradually add earth to the base of the tomato, at least a couple of times during the growth. Weeds will also be removed to prevent them from taking in nutrients and water from the tomato plant.

Tomato irrigation: Adversity in tomato growth

Tomato is a very demanding plant in terms of water intake. During growth in particularly rainy areas it may not be necessary to intervene. As the weather gets warmer, on the other hand, watering must be frequent, even every day when summer is dry. Like all plants, tomatoes can also be attacked by pests and diseases. Periodically we can intervene by vaporizing the plant with a decoction of grass, to avoid using chemicals that should only be used in cases of strict necessity. Watering, if the soil fails to drain sufficiently, could generate rot. In this case we can simply try to correct the water supply or work the soil better around the base of the plant, taking care not to damage the roots. The leaves turn yellow easily, starting from the lower part of the tomato. This too can be a problem that can be easily solved by increasing watering when the tomato flowers and fruits.