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Trench-watering tomatoes

by Bil Paul
(Dixon, CA)

I dig a level trench next to where I will plant my tomato seedlings. The removed dirt goes to build a long mound next to the trench, on which I plant the seedlings.

At first I water the seedlings from the top, next to the stems. After maybe 3-4 weeks, I switch to filling the trench with water, which then partly spreads under the mound with the tomatoes. Tomatoes prefer to receive their water from underneath. Once they are used to getting their water from the trench (that is, their roots are deep enough) quite a bit of time can pass between the trench-waterings.

My tomatoes grow to over 10 feet high and really produce. (This is also the way commercial tomato growers in my area -- who sell to Campbell Soup -- water their plants.)

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