Learn how to do it with @englishmanofthesoil
Before we get started, get ready for some colourful gardening in a pair of our wonderful wellies, made only from natural rubber and plastic-free 🌎 And don’t forget to plant your seeds straight into our wood fibre Vitapots for strong, healthy growth. You can then pot on into our vibrant and eco-friendly bamboo pots, suitable for outdoors as well as in!
Today’s blog is about how to plant tomatoes in halos in the greenhouse for maximum cropping. I sowed my tomatoes 35 days ago indoors on the 17th March and they are Olivade tomatoes, they are a lovely plum tomato with great flavour and flesh which I really like.
So I’m planting these out in halos today (21st April) which extend the growing and enable easy watering, so if you go away for the weekend you can fill these up with water and not worry about your tomatoes drying out.
I use the Levington extra deep-fill tomato planters, they are the Tomorite ones and they go really well on the concrete flooring of the greenhouse. Puncture the bottom of the growbag then place into a long tray. Any stagnant water in the bag can then flow into the tray and not lie in the bottom of the bag.
The halos have spikes on the bottom, so position them on the growbag (you should be able to fit 3 on there) and push them down onto the plastic to create holes. Lift the halo off and cut a circle with some scissors following the curve of the 6 holes you have just made. Remove the circle of plastic and use a garden hand fork to loosen the earth in the growbag to allow the roots of the tomatoes to grow down into it.
Put the halo back into the newly cut hole in the bag and press down firmly. I like to cut a doughnut shape in a thick piece of cardboard to use as a collar to sit around the central part of the halo to stop any compost falling into the outer circle where the water sits. Pop some potting compost into the centre section until about half full. This is what the tomato will make its original roots in and then they will grow into the bag afterwards.
Remove a tomato plant from its pot and place into the halo, then add more compost up to the cotyledons. For those of you who don’t remember your botany, tomatoes and most broad-leaf plants have 2 seed leaves called dicotyledons and single grasses (sweetcorn and alliums and so forth) have 1 seed leaf called a monocotyledon. This is how herbicide works. This is why they can spray a field of sweetcorn for broad-leaved weeds because it will act on the dicotyledons and leave the monocotyledons unaffected.
Anway, I digress! OK, once the tomato is all planted in, put a drop of water straight into the area that you have just sown to just settle them in and do water them again the next day too.
Because of the cold nights that we are still receiving at the moment, we are going to place some fleece over them. Place a cane into one of the 3 smaller holes in each halo to help support the tomato as it grows. I like to grow mine up strings in the greenhouse, but let’s use a cane for now. Fold the fleece over the halos and they will be perfectly safe and warm during the night, don’t forget to remove it by day.
So, what I do with these halos is that I water the plants directly into the middle of the halos for about 2 or 3 weeks and once they’re established and start to grow away I can then actually water into the outer ring where the holes are, where the water will seep through gradually. Once the first flowers are set, I use a seaweed liquid feed every Sunday and then usually only have to water midweek. So twice a week watering of which one of those is a feed.
Like I said earlier, if you are going away for a couple of days, you can fill these right to the top and they will take a couple of days for the water to seep into the growbag behind.
So if you have any questions about growing tomatoes, tomatoes in halos or growbags, give me a shout on Instagram or YouTube @englishmanofthesoil or post a comment on here and I will get back to you. I will be happy to help.
Enjoy your gardening! 🍅