Container tomato drip irrigation question

watson524July 19, 2013

Hi all,
I got my drip kit and set it up. I have a cherry tomato plant in a 5 gallon bucket so I put 2 drippers in it and then 2 larger containers that are about 24" across so I have 3 drippers in there. I originally had 1 and 2 in the containers but I didn't feel like it was spreading the water out enough. Today is the first day I really tested things and ran then for 10 minutes this morning. I'm leaving the program at 10 minutes every 24 hours. My question is this:
I had the 2 in the smaller container already set one turn down on the dripper which is somewhere around 1 gallon per hour. 5 minutes in, water was seeping out the bottom of the raised bucket so for tomorrow I'm going to lessen the flow on those heads. Make sense?
About 7 minutes in the second container started a slow drip out the bottom so i might take those 3 heads back a half turn or so.
The end bucket started dripping out the bottom right at the 10 minute mark so I think those are set ok.
I bought this kit because of these adjustable heads.
One thing I notice tho is that unless you're in the immediate area of the head, soil on top is still dry. Is this ok? I know when I water by hand I'd wet all of it but I also know that the roots are the concern and as water travels down, it also travels out. My indicator of how much water is always when a very slow trickle from the hose comes out the bottom of the container. Is this ok?

thanks!

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calistoga_al

Much of what you are asking is dependent on the medium you used in your containers. Al

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 9:06AM
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watson524

Miracle grow moisture control garden soil

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 9:16AM
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fireduck(10a)

MG Moisture Control soil is not recommended for most container growing situations. It simply holds too much water...and becomes a mucky mess near the bottom. That being said....drip systems need constant fine tuning due to weather and growth habits. I always recommend the cheap moisture meters that are about 10-12 bucks. They really work well! Then, you can probe down to the root zone...which is what counts.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 3:28PM
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watson524

Even with some loose gravel and drainage holes in the bottom of the pot? Bummer but good to know for next year. I had wondered about those meter things. Do you know how far down the roots may be? I.e. do I need to shove the thing down to the gravel which in my big pots is about 18" or should I aim for half way?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 10:19PM
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