DRIP IRRIGATION FOR HYDROPONIC TOMATOES 

Water requirements

Hydroponic tomato irrigation is aimed is returning to the plant the amount of water lost due to evapotranspiration.

To avoid water stress, 12-14 irrigation cycles per day with 3-4 minutes shifts are necessary, since the plant grows on a totally inert substrate with an extremely reduced storage volume.

These cycles vary on the basis of the climatic conditions, but Irritec fertigation systems equipped with a sun radiation sensor (SS5) are able to automatically extend or shorten the interval between 2 irrigation cycles, according to the incoming radiation thus simplifying the technician’s work.

Irrigation system for hydroponic tomatoes

The most suitable irrigation system for hydroponic tomatoes is drip irrigation. The system consists of one drip lateral per row, made up of a white LDPE pipe and a pressure compensating drop stop dripper (PCDS).

With a row spacing of 2 m and 0.33 m on the row (3/6 plants per bag of coconut fiber) 500 m of pipe and 165 drippers are required for a greenhouse of about 1000 mq.

The pressure compensating (PC) drop stop (DS) dripper is fundamental for the correct operation of the hydroponic system: it guarantees the nominal flow rate in a pressure range (PC), and it also has the ability to close and open the flow at a defined pressure (DS), thus avoiding the system discharge and ensuring a perfect uniformity even at start-up.

This is a basic feature for a modern hydroponic system, where irrigation cycles last 3-4 minutes. The PCDS dripper is connected to a 6×4 micropipe, which by means of a stake conveys the nutrient solution into the bag wetting the coconut fiber.

We recommend the use of:
LDPE pipe 20 mm, white.
iDrop PCDS dripper, iDrop Light PCDS or the pre-assembled kits (KGD and KGC) for an easier installation

Filtration system

The filtration system to be used shall vary according to the water source. As a general rule:

• waters coming from basins, lakes or open water streams, we recommend sand filters with automatic backwashing equipped with appropriate safety (screen or disc) filters sized for the system flow rate;

• for water coming from wells with a high quantity of sand, we recommend the hydrocyclone filters equipped with appropriate safety (screen or disc) filters sized for the system capacity.

The sizing of any filtration system requires prior and thorough physical/chemical analysis of water.

Fertigation and automation

In hydroponic systems, automation and fertigation are managed by a single machine, the fertigation system. Since the crop grows on an inert substrate without any nutrient, it is fundamental to make the plant get a balanced NPK solution during each irrigation in order to ensure an optimal growth.

Considering that 12-14 irrigation cycles per day are required to return the correct solution volumes, automation is essential for a hydroponic system.

Irritec Shakers (Set or Pro) are particularly suitable for hydroponic cultivations, managing both irrigation, by opening the solenoid valves and activating the electric pump, and fertigation, by injecting up to 4 fertilizers plus an acid proportionally to the flow rate (Pro) or by pH and EC set point. This allows the constant adjustment of the chemical features of water to guarantee the best conditions for the plant growth.

Hydroponic Tomatoes growing - Drip irrigation Irritec

A practical example of how to drip irrigate hydroponic tomatoes:

Irrigation system for hydroponic tomatoes designed by Irritec

Here are the Irritec products to drip irrigate hydroponic tomatoes

1

K-DROP SYSTEM

K- Drop System is a pre-assembled kit that includes iDrop linedrippers, stake drippers and micro-tubes, available in various diameters. Practical and functional, it is sold pre-assembled with standard measurements or self-assembled (choosing the manifold and stake) if different dimensions are required to those proposed in the pricelist. It is ideal for irrigation of crops in greenhouses or in pots: the answer to soilless irrigation needs.

2

PE AND CONNECTO™ PIPES

Single-layer flexible PVC tubing reinforced by a fabric ad high resistance, easy to handle and store. Facilitates end-of-season operations for irrigation systems that require a quick and safe movement. Lightweight and flexible but at the same weather resistant reduces both installation costs and time recovery. Easy to cut and equipped with a wide range of connections make the lay flat piping system an accessory essential for drip irrigation of tomatoes. Available from 2.4 at 6 bars, in all commercial diameters starting from 1 1/2 “up to 8”.

3

METAL FILTERS

Irritec® metal filters are solid and resistant over time. Can handle a large variety of courses. Templates are available manual or automatic for applications on both channel water and on well waters.

filtration system hydroponic tomatoes irritec

4

FERTIGATION

Irritec® injection systems are reliable and easy to use. They allow you to inject fertilizers (liquid or diluted in water) a injection rates between 150 l / h and 1700 l / h (depending on the models).

5

FITTINGS AND JUNCTIONS FOR DRIPLIN

Complete range for the connection of tape, light and classic dripline, available in the sizes 16, 20, 23, 25 and 29mm.

fittings e valves hydroponic tomatoes irritec

Discover how to irrigate others crops

Irritec wants to make life easier for those who take care of the plants, for work and for passion. We aim to ensure that every drop is spent as well as possible, minimizing the ecological footprint.

Agronomic Irritec Team support the farmer also on after-sale and installation, with continuous assistance and efficiency control. Continuous attention to the customer needs to provide succesful and sustainable solution with an efficience service.