How to Grow Tomatoes using Ring Culture

How to Grow Tomatoes using Ring Culture



TomatoSolanum lycopersicum.  

Growing tomatoes using ring culture is a very space saving and easy way to grow your tomatoes – the rings and grow bag really help the water and nutrients feed the roots well for healthy plants and don’t forget to keep them warm.

Very good for a spot of intercropping as John shows at the end of the video but for more intercropping click here.

Ring Culture tomatoes
Ring Culture for “Black Sea Man”

A Little Bit of History

Tomatoes were first cultivated by the Incas in the Peruvian Andes. The were grown by the native Americans around 500 BCE . 

Tomatoes arrived in Europe either with Christopher Columbus or by the Conquistador Cortés himself about 1500. Tomatoes came to Spain first where they were actually treated like a red aubergine in being cooked with salt, oil and pepper.

Tomatoes were first mentioned by Cosimo de’Medici in a letter in 1548 showing that it was another 50 years before being mentioned in Italy.

There are a whole range of forms of tomatoes from you small cherry to the huge beefsteak. They are either “Indeterminate” – Cordon, Vine – which requires staking out and pruning and which grow to over 2 m in height and there are the “Determinate” – Bush – form which grow as a bush and which does not require any pruning or staking.

Very Easy to Do in Big and Small Spaces

A Little Bit of Culture

When you come to grow tomatoes, if you are growing indoors then sow from late February to mid-March in pots or seed trays – a good re-use of plastic – but remember to keep them warm in conditions of about 18C for them to grow well at this early stage.

As the plant grows extra compost is added around the stem which stimulates more feeding roots from the stem.      

If you are sowing seeds from late March to early April you will be growing the plants outdoors.

Ensure the soil is well fed with copious quantities of organic matter and use early fruiting forms such as the Russian types.    

Pick the fruit when it is ripe and fully coloured  and any unripe fruit left at the end of the season can be left in a warm dark place to ripen or with a banana.

Some Problems You May Have

Tomato Blight is similar to Potato Blight and causes fruit and foliage to rot especially in wet weather. If this is a consistent problem you may have, look for resistant varieties. 

Tomato Leaf Mould can cause significant yield loss in greenhouse-grown tomatoes and furthermore it is rarely seen on outdoor crops.

Yellow blotches develop on the upper leaf surface and greyish-brown mould growth is found underneath.

Select resistant varieties and provide better ventilation to increase air movement.

Tomato Splitting and Cracking does not affect the taste of the tomato but can allow fungus to infect and can cause a variety of physiological disorders.

Control temperature and sunlight levels carefully.

Feed and water regularly.

Blossom End Rot shows as dark blotches on the ends of the peppers.

Water and feed regularly not allowing the soil to dry out.        Don’t forget that Aphids, Whitefly and Red Spider Mite can be a problem too in glasshouses. Click here for Pest Control 🐌

Some Varieties For You

‘Tornado’ AGM : This bush cultivar is hard to beat outdoors and is suitable for hanging baskets or pots.    

‘Gardeners Delight’: This small, flavoursome tomato is a cordon type and good in growing bags or pots.  

‘Tumbler’: This small bush cultivar can be grown in hanging baskets and pots.

‘Ferline’ : This is a beefsteak tomato with flavoursome, large red fruits and some resistance to tomato blight. A cordon type which is good in growing bags or pots.           

‘Sweet Million’ AGM: This tomato produces masses of small, sweet, cherry-sized, bright red fruits and grows well in growing bags and pots.                                              

‘Black Russian’: This is a very early maturing variety with a very dark skin and has a lovely, sweet flavour.

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