London (change)
Thu 10°C / 5°C
Tomorrow 10°C / 6°C

How to grow ring culture tomatoes


Growing tomatoes with ring-culture pots involves surrounding the crop with a bottomless ring and adding layers of compost at 10-14 day intervals. This encourages the tomato to root from the stem so it can take up more water and nutrients than it would get from the growing bag alone. The result is vigorous, productive plants, and compost that remains moist helps reduce fruit splitting. Ready-made ring culture pots cost about £10 for three, but they can easily be made from 20cm pots.

How to do it

Growing ring culture tomatoes: cutting a pot with secateurs


Cut the bottom from 20cm-diameter plastic pots using secateurs – start by cutting in from one of the drainage holes.

Growing ring culture tomatoes: position the pot around the plant

After planting, place a bottomless pot (or growing ring) over each tomato plant. Push the pot into the compost.

Growing ring culture tomatoes: add layers of compost every 10-14 days

Add a 2-3cm layer of compost to the pot every 10-14 days, until full. Try to water daily and liquid feed every week.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to grow ring culture tomatoes
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

gharrop 28/02/2013 at 23:10

If you FEED a tomato plant BEFORE the tomatoes are set you will get a big plant with big leaves and little or no fruit.

YewJay 01/03/2013 at 08:26

This is NOT the correct ring culture . The correct equipment is a bottomless pot with a 'moat' around it. Liquid feed is applied to the pot and the moat filled at the appropriate time - when the first truss has set - and normal watering is OUTSIDE the moat. Tomatoes have two root systems and this applies water and feed to the right places. I have been using this system with spectacular results for over five years.