Irrigating Tomatoes

How much water does it take (in gallons or cubic feet) to properly

irrigate an acre of land for tomatoes? The soil is adobe, and the

customary way of planting tomatoes is 6 feet apart each way, plowing a

trench of one furrow with the slope of the land for irrigating, that is,

a trench between every row and a cross trench as a feeder. The land is

low and in the driest part of the year the surface water is from 2 to 3

feet beneath the top of the ground.

It is not possible to state a specific quantity of water for any crop,

because the amount depends to such a large extent upon the retentiveness

of the soil, the rate of evaporation and the kind of cultivation. The

best source of information is the behavior of the plant itself, bearing

in mind that tomato plants require constant but not excessive moisture

supply, and that if moisture is applied in excess it will promote an

excessive growth of the plant, which will cause it to drop its blossoms

and therefore be unsatisfactory and unproductive. In such land as you

describe no irrigation whatever would be desirable except in years of

short rainfall, and such land, if properly cultivated, would always

furnish moisture enough by capillary action to support the growth of the


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