Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tomato - ring culture

It is at this time of year that any space in greenhouses or pots is at a premium. Many veggies have been carefully raised from seed and potted on. The trouble with tender plants is that you have to make a judgement as to whether you think there is going to be a late frost or not. Hmmm! I have taken a gamble, although I still have others in the greenhouse.

I started my aubergines, chilli and tomato in the greenhouse in a propagator in January. These veggies are the ones that can really benefit from a longer growing season. Consequently most of my tomato plants in flowerpots are over a foot tall and already setting several trusses of fruit. I took the plunge yesterday and planted some of them outdoors as they were getting pot bound and lanky. You will notice in the above piccy that I have used what appears to be a flowerpot inside a growbag. This is called a 'ring culture'. Plants have two separate root systems, the long tap roots which go straight down deep are responsible for fetching and seeking water. It does not really matter if they go down into sand, or anything as long as they find water. The second set of roots are near the surface and they are responsible for finding nutrients. So these flowerpots have their bottoms cut out, I water the bottom part and feed the top part.

Varieties I am growing this year are: Tigerella, Marmande, Marglobe, Gardener's Delight, Ildi and Jubilee.


At 8:48 PM, Blogger Hx said...

that is sooooo clever, I'm going to do that with mine, which in comparison are tiddly! I'm off to talk to them now . . . .

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have always done that with mine

It is such a good way to grow them

However last year I grew 75 up my allotment and had a fantastic crop - better than those grown by ring culture and they tasteed really of the sun!

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Ashleigh said...

What size pots do you use? I'm tempted to put mine in the same kind of system on the ground at the allotment.

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Matron said...

I suppose I use about a 7" pot in the growbags. That is about the biggest you can get 3 of them to fit in. I also use rolled up roofing felt stapled together. I have used them in the open ground too. I suppose you could get away with a 5" pot because it's the main tap roots that go right down to get the water. Ring culture also encourages the plant to grow more top growth if the roots are restricted.


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