ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Control Tomato Irrigation With Your Smartphone

Updated on January 15, 2018
Tomato -- image credit:  Digerati | Dreamstime.com
Tomato -- image credit: Digerati | Dreamstime.com

Water Tomatoes Using Your Smartphone

Home grown tomatoes. Delicious! Satisfying! And a fun hobby.

The best homegrown tomatoes begin with careful attention to all the requirements of a healthy tomato plant -- including proper watering.

A simple drip irrigation system for your tomatoes will make your watering job a lot easier.

With a home automation watering controller you can control your watering system via personal computer or WiFi-enabled phone.



How to Grow Tomatoes

There's nothing like picking vine-ripened tomatoes grown at home. Eat them on the spot or slice them and serve with cool cucumbers – they taste great. Delicious recipes from around the world have made tomatoes a tasty and popular ingredient in many dishes.

As you plan your home-grown tomato project, keep in mind that the growth of healthy, juicy tomatoes requires:

  • Plenty of sunshine
  • Warm weather
  • Tomato-friendly root zone
  • Adequate drainage
  • Tomato-friendly nutrients
  • Careful watering or irrigation

Where to Grow Tomatoes

You can choose among numerous varieties of tomatoes, depending on your taste. And you can grow them many ways:

  • Grow them in your vegetable garden.
  • Plant them in raised beds.
  • Plant them in the decorative pots around your patio, deck or rooftop.
  • Hang them upside down in special containers.
  • Make special tomato planters out of plastic storage boxes and steel tomato cages.

Let's say you carefully planned your tomato-planting project according to your lifestyle desires. You decided to grow tomatoes in containers on your patio, Your project is now complete. You've planted healthy tomato plants, and given them just what they need for healthy growth. From now until you pick your juicy tomatoes, careful watering or irrigation is essential.

How to Water Tomato Plants

Tomatoes require just the right amount of water for healthy growth. There are several basic approaches.

  1. Let nature do the watering for you. Caution: During long dry spells, your tomato plants compensate for the lack of water and slow their growth. The result: shriveled vines and puny tomatoes.
  2. Use a watering can or hose and water your tomato plants a couple times a week. Try to avoid wetting the foliage; apply the water to the root zone. Caution: Repeated wet foliage can lead to fungus and disease. Sometimes you forget to water your plants or don't have time. Or you overwater them. Or you go off on vacation during a dry spell.
  3. Plant your tomatoes in a container that has a water reservoir and wick system. This keeps the soil or planting medium moist and allows the roots to extract just the right amount of moisture. This is an excellent approach. Caution: Don't forget to replenish the water in the container's water reservoir.
  4. Use an automatic drip watering irrigation system. There are easy-to-install household drip irrigation systems on the market today that can apply just the right amount of water directly to root zones of your tomatoes. Caution: Make sure the system is working properly and applying just the right amount of water.

Rain Bird Drip Irrigation | 1/4-inch tubing, stake and bug guard -- image credit: Rain Bird
Rain Bird Drip Irrigation | 1/4-inch tubing, stake and bug guard -- image credit: Rain Bird

Drip Irrigation Watering for your Tomatoes

Let's say you decided to grow tomatoes in containers on your patio, and you'll use drip irrigation. Rain Bird offers a wide variety of components, kits and parts that make a simple drip irrigation system easy to install.

You'll need a faucet connectiion, enough connecting tubing to run from your faucet connection to your patio and alongside the plant containers, and short lengths of quarter-inch tubing attached to drip emitters that deliver a precise amount of water to each one of your tomato plants.

Here's how it works.

Rain Bird Faucet Connection Kit -- image credit: amazon.com
Rain Bird Faucet Connection Kit -- image credit: amazon.com
Rain Bird FCKIT-1PK Drip Irrigation Easy Fit Faucet Connection Kit for 1/2" Tubing, Includes Pressure Regulator and Filter
Rain Bird FCKIT-1PK Drip Irrigation Easy Fit Faucet Connection Kit for 1/2" Tubing, Includes Pressure Regulator and Filter

Rain Bird's Faucet Connection Kit includes a backflow protector to prevent water in the irrigation tubing from being sucked back into your house plumbing.

There's a water pressure regulator to reduce your house water pressure to the 25-30 psi required for drip irrigation.

Finally, there is a filter to help keep the water free of debris.

At the end of the connection, there is a fitting for the half-inch connecting tubing.

 
Rain Bird T63-100S Drip Irrigation 1/2" (.630" OD) Blank Distribution Tubing, 100' Roll, Black
Rain Bird T63-100S Drip Irrigation 1/2" (.630" OD) Blank Distribution Tubing, 100' Roll, Black

This half-inch tubing runs from your faucet connection to your patio and along your plant containers. It comes in 50-foot and 100-foot lengths.

Lay it out along the desired line from your faucet to patio and along your tomato plant containers.

Put an End Closure at the end of the tubing. The End Closure can be removed for cleaning and draining the tubing.

After you have placed the tubing in position, hold it down with these wire secures.

 
Rain Bird Drip Irrigation | 1/4-inch tubing, stake and bug guard -- image credit: Rain Bird
Rain Bird Drip Irrigation | 1/4-inch tubing, stake and bug guard -- image credit: Rain Bird
Rain Bird PATIOKIT Drip Irrigation Patio Watering Kit, Connects to Faucet, 1/4" Drip Tubing
Rain Bird PATIOKIT Drip Irrigation Patio Watering Kit, Connects to Faucet, 1/4" Drip Tubing

The Rain Bird Drip Watering Kit Includes quarter-inch tubing, 10 spot watering (drip) emitters, stakes and hardware for attaching quarter-inch tubing to the connecting tubing. Here's what you get:

Pressure Regulator with 1/4" Tubing Adaptor (1)

1/4" Tubing (25 feet)

1/4" Stakes with Bug Caps (10 feet)

1/4" Barbed couplings (2)

1/4" barbed tees (8)

Tubing mounting clips (10)

Spot watering emitters 2GPH (5)

Spot watering emitters 1GP (5)

Depending on which Spot Emitters you choose, water is dripped at flow rates of 2 gpm (gallons per minute) or 1 gpm.

 
Orbit 62001 Lawn and Garden Digital Watering Timer
Orbit 62001 Lawn and Garden Digital Watering Timer

This Orbit Digital Watering Timer and Valve connects to your faucet. You can program it to turn the water on and off every day, every 2nd day, 3rd day – and more – up to 4 times a day. Many other programming options are available.

 

Or Use Manual Control

Simply turn your faucet on and leave it on for a measured amount of time, then turn it off. This works, but it is definitely not for those with limited time and patience.

How to Control Your Tomato Watering Using Your Smartphone

If you are inclined to home automation, there are ways to control your drip irrigation schedule over the Internet. For example, if you have already installed an INSTEON Plug-In Starter Kit to control home lights via Internet, you can incorporate an EZFlora INSTEON/X10 Sprinkler Controller into your home automation system

The EZFlora Irrigation Controller controls up to 8 zones. (Only one zone is needed for the tomato drip irrigation system described in this article.) It controls 24-volt valves, such as those supplied by Rain Bird.

You can turn your drip irrigation system on or off using your PC or WiFi-enabled phone – from anywhere.

Locate the EZFlora Controller inside your house, in the garage or another protected area. Run a pair of wires rated for underground burial from the EZFlora to the 24-volt ac valve located near your patio in a valve box for protection. Use water-proof electrical connectors. For a permanent installation run underground plastic piping from the 24-volt valve box near your patio to a shutoff valve at your house. Be sure to install a backflow protector and adhere to your local plumbing and electrical codes.

An irrigation installer can help you plan your system and install it for you.

Whether you choose a simple drip irrigation system or an Internet-controlled system, have fun putting it together and watching your plants produce delicious ripe red tomatoes.

What is your Favorite Variety of Tomato?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • John Dove profile imageAUTHOR

      John Dove 

      8 years ago

      Hi caglar -- Glad to know that farmers find drip irrigation very useful -- especially in some climates. Fine tune your drip irrigation system and it will work wonders! Keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      caglar 

      8 years ago

      It is a useful information about drip irrigation. I am a farmer and we have very large fields, before drip

      irrigation system was found it was a nightmare to irrigate all those fields because where i live is a place

      that does not rain so much. Now we use drip irrigation, saving so many water and it is a lot easier to irrigate

      the field with that. I am trying to read everything about drip irrigation and i recommend every farmer to use that

      technique, so i am grateful for everyone who gives information about it. I also found a very good guide about drip

      irrigation and it may be useful too for those who want to learn more information about that;

    • John Dove profile imageAUTHOR

      John Dove 

      8 years ago

      Hey KingDrew and Glenn -- Container-grown deck tomatoes and and raised gardens are two excellent ways to grow tomatoes. Have fun and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

    • Glenn S. profile image

      Glenn S. 

      8 years ago from Delaware

      You wrote this article just in time for me to get my garden set up. This year I will using raised gardens for my veggies. Thanks for your advice.

      G

    • KingDrew profile image

      Drew Bobbitt 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I really enjoyed this article. My fiancée and I are going to plant a few tomatoes on our deck this spring to see if we have a green enough thumb to plant a whole garden in the future.

    • John Dove profile imageAUTHOR

      John Dove 

      8 years ago

      You are very welcome. I love tomatoes and look forward to a summer of enjoying these red fruits of summer. (Yes, the tomato is technically a fruit according to Wikipedia! But it is treated as a vegetable in the kitchen.) -- Regards, John

    • Michael Jay profile image

      Michael Jay 

      8 years ago

      This is a very informative hub! Thanks for sharing.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)