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How to grow ring culture tomatoes

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is not at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

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.

You will need

  • Growing bag
  • 20cm pots x3
  • Secateurs
  • Good quality compost
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Total time:

Step 1

If making your own growing ring, start by cutting the bottom from a 20cm-diameter plastic pot using secateurs. If not, simply cut a hole in your growing bag and place the growing ring over it.

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Step 2

Plant the tomato in the compost, stake, firm and water well as you would normally. Then, add a 2-3cm layer of compost to the pot every 10-14 days, until it’s full. Try to water the plant daily and give it a liquid feed every week.

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Step 3

Remove sideshoots from plants as you would normally. When fruits start to develop, remove leaves which would otherwise shade them, so they ripen fully.

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