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







The large plant pots are filled with bought compost; home made compost or a mixture of both.  A planting hole is dug out with a trowel and the string is run from wires at eves level into the pots. The tomato is planted on top of the string making sure that the string runs under the roots of the seedling tomato plant.  


The tomatoes are supported by string.
After the tomato seedling has been planted on top of the string, the string is gently wound round the tomato plant.  At this early stage the plant can support itself so the string does not have to be wound tightly.  Furthermore, the string never has to be wound tightly to keep the tomato plant supported.  


Tomato planted on top of the end of the
string.

The string supports the tomato as it gets bigger. It is much better than putting up canes because you do not have to keep tying the tomato in - you just wind it around the string. Although the string does not pull out of the soil, it is better not to wind it around the tomato too roughly. The tomato only needs it coiled around a little to give it support. The roots of the tomato grow around the string and eventually it is impossible to pull the string out without damaging the plant.


You can take the strings to the wire in the
ridge of the greenhouse.  
I don't usually take the tomatoes up to the ridge of the greenhouse because the fruit set here seldom ripens well. It is well into September when the fruit develops and there is not enough warmth in autumn to ripen them.  However, green tomatoes make good chutney and this might be an option.

Tomato plants wound round string supports
June 11th 2011
The Alicante at the back are having the string wound round them. (The reason why they look a little anemic is because they are growing in organic grow bags compost. The tomatoes do not seem to have liked this very much and it was a struggle to get them to grow well.) The beef stake tomatoes at the front of the Alicante are still quite small and have not been wound up, so the strings are fairly loose.

In 2012 all my different tomatoes germinated well. I never like to throw away plants so I  put most of them into pots in the greenhouse. They were a little close together but I didn't get botrytis or other fugal disease, so they were left like this. Not so big tomatoes but a lot of them.


Tomatoes wound round the strings to
support them June 2012
Wires are stretched across at eves height and strings tied to them.  The other ends of the strings are firmly embedded in the pots.  The legs of the staging were left to give the tomatoes additional support.
Tomatoes July 2012
With this many tomatoes, it was not necessary to grow the plants to the ridge of the greenhouse. The wires go across at eves level. One or two might be taken higher but the tomatoes never seem to ripen when they are in the roof space. The wires  stretched across the ridge can be left and reused  next year.

Tomatoes wound round the string June 2012
Tomatoes wound around the strings July 2012

The tomatoes were taken up to a wire at eves level and stopped by taking out the growing tip.  All the tomatoes setting in July will ripen.  

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