Saturday, 30 April 2011

Tying and Winding up the greenhouse tomato plants.(Supporting greenhouse tomatoes)

 I bought some organic grow bags but I don't like putting the tomatoes in them because I cannot regulate the watering very well.  I take the compost out of the bags and put it into big pots, planting the tomatoes and tying them up.  I have been mixing my own compost to put seedlings in but I did not mix the compost for the Alicante.

String support for the tomato.

I dig a hole in the compost and run a string from the wire in the roof of the greenhouse down and into the pot.

Tomato in pot
I plant the tomato on top of the string, burying the string's end, and wind the string around the tomato.  The string supports the tomato as it gets bigger.  It is much better than putting up canes because you do not have to tie the tomato in - you just wind it around the string.  Although the string does not pull out, it is better not to wind it around the tomato too roughly.  The tomato only need it coiled around a little to give it support.  

Strings attached to the wire in the roof.  
I put all the Totem bush tomatoes in their final pots and left them on the staging.  The Totem does not need supports because they are a bush variety.  They were a little pot bound so I am glad that I transplanted them today. I mixed up my own compost for the Totem.  It was about 50% home made compost from the compost heap, 50% peat free bought compost with a little grit mixed in to keep the home made compost a little more open.  After being sieved a few times the home made compost tends to form a crust and I did not want this to happen.

Tomato plants wound round string supports
 June 11th 2011

You can see the Alicante at the back is having the string wound round them.  (The reason why they look a little anaemic is because I bought some organic grow bags and used this compost in the pots.  The tomatoes do not seem to have liked this very much and I am struggling to get them to grow well.)  The beef stake tomatoes at the front of the Alicante have not been wound up yet so the strings are fairly loose.

This year 2012 all my different tomatoes germinated well.  I never like to throw away plants so I have put most of them into pots in the greenhouse.  They are a little close together but unless I get botrytis or some other fugal disease, I will leave them like this.  Not so big tomatoes but a lot of them.

Tomatoes wound round strings to
support them June 2012
Tomatoes in July 2012
With this many tomatoes, I don't think that it is necessary to go to the ridge of the greenhouse as I did last year.  The wires go across at eves level.  I might take one or two higher but the tomatoes never seem to ripen when they are in the roof space.  Last years wire is still stretched across the ridge and can be used whenever I want.

Tomatoes wound round strings.
June 2012

Tomatoes wound around strings  July 2012


  1. What a fantastic explanation of how to tie up tomatoes. Thank you for that, it is exactly what I was looking for. I couldn't work out how to fix the string to the base of the plants in my greenhouse. Good luck with this year's crop.

    Susan Mc Victoria, Australia

  2. This is such a cool concept. I'm going to try it this spring as soon as my tomatoes are long enough. :)