How to manage irrigation in chilli and tomato?

How to manage irrigation in chilli and tomato?
How to manage irrigation in chilli and tomato?

This blog provides in-depth details on the irrigation techniques used in tomato and chilli crops. You will learn the precise irrigation necessary for your tomato and chilli crops.

There are various stages that the plants go through during the life cycle of tomato and chilli production, and these need to be regulated or manipulated by the farmer. These stages of the plant’s development are generative or vegetative. Making poor choices at the start of a crop’s life cycle can impact the crop’s entire production cycle.

Irrigation in chilli and tomato
Irrigation in chilli and tomato

Irrigation management is a major component influencing the yield and longevity of tomato and chilli crops. A plant’s complete growth process, including seedbed preparation, germination, root development, nutrient delivery and yield quantity, depends on adequate irrigation. For irrigation to be as effective as possible, consistency must be maintained.

Table of contents

Challenges faced by farmers during chilli and tomato cultivation

  • The major challenges farmers encounter while growing crops such as tomatoes and chillies are related to productivity and quality.
  • Lack of irrigation sometimes causes yield loss, blossom end rot, and other fruit quality difficulties. Whereas over-irrigation raises the risk of disease, nutrient leaching, and water loss.
  • A constant moisture supply is required for good fruit set and development at all growth phases, especially at bloom and during fruit production.
  • Tomatoes and chillies are subject to water stress during flowering because inadequate irrigation during this period causes blossom end rot, which is caused by a calcium deficit that is compounded by a lack of water. Cracking occurs in tomato fruit due to uneven watering during fruit size. Another factor contributing to increased fruit sunburn is water stress.

Proper irrigation is essential for the cultivation of chilli and tomatoes. The best irrigation management results in strong plants, maximum yields, and fruit of the highest calibre. Various irrigation techniques are frequently used to irrigate chillies or tomato crops, each requiring different management considerations. The most popular way of irrigation for tomatoes and chillies is through furrows since they need a sufficient amount of moisture for growth. However, to save water and enhance plant growth and productivity, farmers are increasingly switching from furrow irrigation to drip irrigation to conserve water and improve plant growth and productivity.

How much water is required in chilli?

Chilli is grown as a rainfed crop in areas with an evenly distributed annual rainfall of between 80 and 100 cm. It is widely grown as a rainfed crop in the Kharif season in Northern Karnataka and Southern Maharashtra, where the annual rainfall averages around 80 cm.

Two rainfall peaks in this region, in July and October, aid in the growth and establishment of transplanted crops. In rabi (winter) and summer, chilli crops are grown primarily under irrigated circumstances for green chillies. The chilli crop is grown under irrigation in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where the amount of rainfall is insufficient for crop growth.

Since chilli can’t withstand excessive wetness, only irrigate it when necessary. The amount and frequency of irrigation depend on the soil and weather conditions. Irrigation is required if a plant’s performance begins to decline at 4 o’clock. The most crucial stages of water need are flowering and fruit development. In nurseries and fields, stagnant water should not be permitted because it can lead to a fungus infestation.

StagesWater requirement 
Nursery raising( for 45 days)200 mm
Transplanting (till flowering)200 mm
Flowering( till first pickup stage)250 mm
Fruit development stage250 ( for dry chillies)400 ( for green chillies)
Total irrigation required900 mm (for dry chillies)1050 mm (for green chillies)
Stage-wise irrigation in chilli

How much water is required in tomatoes?

Water application has a significant impact on tomatoes. Fruits crack when they receive heavy irrigation during a prolonged drought. This is why it should be avoided. The most popular way of irrigation for tomatoes is by furrows since they need a sufficient amount of moisture for growth. In regions with water shortages, drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation are becoming more prevalent.

Furrow irrigation in tomato
Furrow irrigation in tomato
  • Three to four days after transplanting, light irrigation should be applied.
  • According to various parameters such as soil type and rainfall, irrigation should be applied at intervals of 7-8 days during Kharif, 10-12 days during rabi, and 5-6 days during the summer.
  • Since tomato flowering and fruit development are crucial stages, water stress shouldn’t be applied at this time.
  • Depending on the temperature, a tomato crop cultivated in the field for 90 to 120 days requires a total of 400 to 600 mm of water after transplanting.
Stage Water requirement mm/per period
Initial stage 0.4-0.5 (10 to 15 days)
Development stage 0. 7-0.8 (20 to 30 days), 
Midseason stage 1.05-1.25 (30 to 40 days)
Late-season stage 0.8-0.9 (30 to 40 days) 
Harvest 0.6-0.65.
Stage-wise irrigation requirement in tomato

Impact of over and under-irrigation in crops

Flowering and fruit development in chilli and tomatoes are the most water-critical stages. Over and under-irrigation during these stages can impact the crop in many ways.

Over irrigation:

  • Flowering and yield are reduced.
  • The prevalence of fungal diseases.
  • Reduction in nutrient capture

Under irrigation:

  • Fruit and flowers fall.
  • Reduced branching
  • After a protracted drought, many flowers and fruit drops will be visible if watering is given during the flowering and fruiting stages.

Need for precision/drip irrigation system

Proper irrigation is defined as providing the plant with the right amount of water at the right time without endangering the soil or the surrounding plants. Most of the time, poor water management results in low irrigation efficiency, and poor drainage results in deteriorating soil and plant conditions. As a result, crop productivity declines. Therefore, an effective irrigation system and good drainage are regarded as essential components of an agricultural irrigation system. Precision irrigation systems to irrigate crops are one of the finest ways to improve irrigation’s effectiveness and consistency.

Drip irrigation in tomato and chilli plants
Drip irrigation in tomato and chilli plants

Put an end to moisture stress

During the flowering and fruit-setting stages, precision watering helps avoid moisture stress and provides the highest possible yield. This one is the only irrigation system that frequently waters the plant root zone, preserving stress-free moisture conditions.

Balance the vegetation’s productivity growth

When producing tomatoes, it is crucial to maintain the proper balance between vegetative growth and productivity. Precision irrigation can meet this need since it provides both control and flexibility, ensuring that the crops receive the right amount of water and nutrients.

Controlled Inputs

Since fertilisers and water are applied directly to plant roots using drip irrigation. No resources are wasted. Additionally, it inhibits various water losses to the crop.

More effective weed and disease management

Dangerous diseases and weeds can be avoided by supplying enough nutrients, the best fertilisers for tomatoes and chillies, and adequate water supply to crop roots.

Precise Irrigation
Precise Irrigation

How can Fasal assist?

  • Fasal is an IoT platform for horticulture farmers. It collects real-time data through on-farm sensors to provide farmers with recommendations specific to their farms and may be put into action.
  • Farmers may now accurately irrigate their crops and lessen the possibility of low harvests owing to over- or under-irrigation with sensors in the Fasal system.
  • The Fasal system uses sensors and other monitoring tools to continuously monitor the microclimatic conditions on your farm, allowing you to plan irrigation in advance and decrease the impact of unpredictability on your crops.
  • Farmers can better plan their irrigation by being informed via the Fasal system of any prospects of rain during the next 14 days.
  • Using exact measurements of the soil’s moisture, the Fasal system alerts farmers when the land needs to be watered and helps them determine how much irrigation water is necessary.
  • The Fasal System continuously monitors the health of the soil and crops as well as their ideal mineral and water requirements, producing higher-quality produce.

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