Tomato plant roots are not the same from the top to the
bottom. The top parts of tomato plant roots are the key ones for
absorbing nutrients. The lower roots are better at absorbing
With that in mind, there is a simple technique (see also ring culture) that many
gardeners use to grow tomatoes in the UK that produce a heavier and
The only equipment needed is a few large plastic pots with
the base cut out. our step by step guide takes you through the
process with lots of helpful pictures to make it absolutely
simple. Click on any picture below to enlarge it.
The only equipment you need is a large plastic pot.
Cut out the base of the pot to leave it as shown in the
picture on the right. The size of the pot is not crucial
but it must be big enough to allow the tomato plant to
be contained with it.
Place the cut pot over the tomato plant and firm it
into the surrounding ground.
This can be done any time after the tomato plant has
been planted. The ideal time is when it is about 25cm
Remove any leaves and stems from the bottom 3cm
(1in) from the plant. Sprinkle compost into the pot
around the plant to a depth of about 3cm (1in). Gently firm down the compost and water with a mix of
liquid tomato fertiliser.
Every couple of weeks add another
3cm (1in) of compost until it reaches the top of the pot. When
you water with a liquid tomato feed, this will feed the existing
and new top roots allowing the plant to absorb more nutrients
than would normally be the case. The lower roots will still grow
downwards in search of more water.
I have seen some allotment holders who use tyres
instead of the pots. This also works well although the amount of
compost required is significantly increased.