Improve the flavor of tomatoes and other vegetables by simply adjusting the way you water your garden. Here’s how.
How to Water for Better-Tasting Crops
Tweaking your watering can have a dramatic impact on the flavor of your crops. Soils rich in added organic matter are naturally more moisture-retentive. This minimizes the amount of added water the crops need, and keeps those all-important sugars from being diluted too much.
Watering Fruiting Crops
Peaches, cherries and other tree fruits, plus fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers have better flavor when not over-watered. Reducing irrigation just one week before fruits are picked can help enhance the flavor of these crops.
Container-grown fruits such as blueberries or strawberries can also benefit from this approach to watering.
Improving the Flavor of Tomatoes
Keep tomato plants well watered while they establish. Water heavily two to three times a week, depending on your weather, climate and soil conditions. Then, once you start to see fruits developing, reduce the volume of water you give your plants at each watering to a minimum. Don’t go so far as to allow plants to wilt though! Yields may be a little smaller, but the flavor is more intense.
Watering Root Crops
Carrots, beets and other root crops have improved taste levels in drier soils. As their roots reach deep into the soil looking for moisture, they will also source minerals that contribute to a better flavor. Water root crops regularly for the first three to four weeks after sowing or planting, then taper irrigation to a minimum.
Leafy Salads and Greens
Treating leafy crops benefit to plenty of water helps to dilute very spicy or bitter tastes. You can tame the spicy flavor of leaves such as arugula by keeping them well-watered.
Keep other leafy salads and greens moist to encourage lots of succulent, leafy growth.
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