Re: [tomato] Drip irrigation systems

Richard Yarnell (
Wed, 14 Jul 1999 11:08:25 -0700 (PDT)

Irrigation, whether drip or flood or by sprinkler depends on so many
factors, it's going to be hard for any of us to give reliable advice.
However, expecially with folks new to drip discipline, I suggest you get a
moisture meter with a faily long probe.  _This will give you a *relative*
measure of soil moisture content._  With a little trial and error, you'll
be able to know when your plants are about to begin wilting from lack of
water.  When you've got that figured out, program your system to supply
enough water to saturate the soil to beyond the root ball (that's why you
want one with a long probe.)  

Pay attention to changing conditions.  Hot spells, drying winds, etc.  Use
the manual override as required.  And one other tip: although unlikely
near LAX, if you have differences in elevation in your planting, make sure
to compensate for them by using emitters with different rates of flow.
Schedule for the plant which dries out first but put less water on those
which would otherwise require less frequent watering.  Or set up a
separate zone which receives water more frequently.  Or, supplement the
timer by hand for those plants or sections of your garden which need it.x

On Wed, 14 Jul 1999, Greg Park wrote:

> Hi all,
> I just finished installing a drip irrigation system in my garden and bought
> this fancy digital timer.  How many gallons of water should a tomato plant
> get per day or per week?  My garden (which is at a friends house) is in
> sunny southern California near Los Angeles Airport.  The area is often sunny
> with morning and evening fog at times.  The soil is a sandy loam that drains
> fairly well and I am using black plastic mulch.
> I know Chuck and others espouse deep watering every so often...just how much
> would that be?
> Best regards,
> Greg Park
> Santa Monica, Zone 9