Ring culture is a means of growing Tomatoes that allows fibrous feeding roots to develop within a bottomless ‘ring’ (where fertiliser is applied), whilst courser water-seeking roots develop into the ground, aggregate, ‘Growbag’ or Container.
Traditionally, the ‘ring’ or bottomless pot is about 8” (20cm) deep and 9-10” (22-25cm) in diameter, which is then placed on a shingle or gravel base. The bottomless ring is then filled with compost or John Innes Number 3, which is then moistened and planted up with the desired variety of Tomato.
The aggregate (shingle or gravel) base is then kept moist, with the rings being kept watered just sufficiently for the plants to grow.
Once water roots penetrated into the aggregate, no further watering of the rings is required, except when feeding the plants (liquid feed).
This method can easily be applied to Growbags and containers, with these acting as a replacement for the aggregate.
The main advantage of using Ring-culture with Tomatoes is that the Liquid feed is applied directly to the fibrous roots; aiding the development of the fruit; and is not diluted by daily watering, which can led to nutrient deficiencies within the plant.
To see a full list of all our handy fact sheets click here