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Tomorite giant growbags

Hello to everyone. I’m new to here so please be gentle.
 Like many people I grow my tomatoes in a growbags and have been using the Levington tomorite giant planters for some time with fairly good results..
That ended this year when I bought 3 growbags for my greenhouse. I use then on just one side with others planted in the composted border and large pots.
i grow all my plants from fresh seed and had a good choice. Gardeners Delight, Marmonde, plumb, cherry and Moneymaker. All looked good.
I planted a variety mix of plants 2 to each bag and 2 in the greenhouse border 2 cherry in tubs 1 in a Marmonde in a tub.
All seemed to be going ok until I noticed the ones in the bags were all growing at different rates. Whereas they would normally grow at the same rate. The ones in the border and tubs were growing ok. 
Then I noticed the ones in the growbags at started to turn yellow an growth was stunted.
Again the border and pots were doing fine.
To cut a long story short the 6 in the bags face failed quite dramatically and the border and pots are lovely.
I emailed the Tomorite manufacturer and sent pictures and they told me that my healthy plants looked like they had blight. And blamed me for killing the ones in the bags.
I do realise that this isn’t the first time this has happened with the giant growbags and right back to 2011 again in 2016-17.
What I would like to know is has anyone else been affected by this problem..I t would be nice to know if it’s reared it’s ugly head again...Peter..


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,823
    Hi @Robertsprr and welcome to the forum  :)

    Could we see some photographs please?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • RobertsprrRobertsprr Posts: 21
    Ok here’s a few pics. I will leave you to guess which ones are which. I have had to destroy most.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,739
    I don't see anything much wrong with those.  :)
    The curling leaves are most likely just the result of a bit of excess heat/sun. When the plants are quite well covered, and it's very hot, it's hard for the foliage to retain enough moisture, and they curl up a bit, and get a bit fried. They recover when temps cool a little. Sometimes it's as a result of spider mite or similar, but I assume you've had a look to see if there's any insects or webbing etc.
    I don't see any evidence of blight either. 
    There may may be a few too many shoots on some - it's easy to miss those pesky side shoots, and they can grow very quickly and use up moisture too. 
    Are you keeping the doors and vents opened up through the day? The heat builds up very rapidly too, even on days that aren't particularly hot. As long as watering is sufficient on the hottest days, it isn't a long term problem.  :)

    The only thing I can see is that, in the first pic, it looks like the top is nipped out. Not sure why?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • RobertsprrRobertsprr Posts: 21
    Pic one the growing tip of the plant has died so I broke it off. Grown in Tomorite bag.
    Pic Two has been grown in a pot with different compost. Doing well.
    Pic Three has been grown in the border with different compost .Doing well.
    Pic Four has stopped growing a while ago hardly any fruit. Grown in a Tomorite bag.

    No insect infestation.
    All plants watered and fed the same.
    All vents and door open all the time.
    Side shoots take off as required.

    Three of the plants in Growbags died very early on so obviously had to take them out.
    The others are on the way out.

    All of the plants grown in a different medium to the Growbags are doing well with plenty of fruit.
    The ones in the Growbags are the worst I have ever had in many many years of growing

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,739
    Very odd then @Robertsprr, although feeding shouldn't happen until there's fruit set.
    I wonder if there's been far too much food for the growbags ones. That can sometimes be worse than too little food. 
    The only other thing I can think of is that, when you got the growbags, did you give them a shake before opening and using them? The contents can settle very badly because the bags are sitting stacked, often for long periods. Giving them a good shake up or turning them upside down helps to mix the contents.  :)
    Perhaps it's worth repotting that top one in your other compost, assuming you have some, and seeing if there's an improvement. Worth a wee experiment maybe? 

    It's a bit much if Tomorite told you it was your fault, and pretty poor customer service telling you the others had blight. No wonder you're hacked off  :/

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • RobertsprrRobertsprr Posts: 21
    Just so anyone who reads this knows I have been growing Tomatoes for 50 years. In pots in soil in compost and in All types and sizes of Grow bags. When I buy a certain product I Always follow the Manufacturers instructions.
    The Tomorite giant bags state that you should not cut any holes in the bags, only the ones you intend planting in. And plumping the bags. Also it says not to use any feed for 6 weeks as they are supposed to be enriched with seaweed fertiliser. I never feed until the first trusses have set. 
    After following all theses instructions they have all catastrophically failed. And the others have done very well. So I can only come to the conclusion there is a fault with the compost in the planters as has happened in the past. 2011 and 2016-17.
    yes I do understand that we can’t keep on stripping the planet of peat which was the perfect medium, but to blame the customer for their failure is awful.
    If they monitor where the materials they use come from making sure there is no poisonous material in their compost.
    like I told them there are NO second chances in the UK tomato growing season. You plant seeds in Feb-March, plant out in greenhouse in May (Earlier If heated) and that’s it. 
    It seems they are just not interested..
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,823
    Do you use shading in the greenhouse?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,739
    It certainly sounds like the product isn't right @Robertsprr, because you're clearly doing the right things. I'm not sure what else you can do.  :/
    There was a thread recently where someone had a problem with a make of compost too, and it appeared to have some very serious problem that caused distortion of the plants. I'm afraid I can't remember the thread title, or whether it was tomatoes the person were growing, but I don't think it was growbags - just bagged compost. I don't think it was Levington's though. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • RobertsprrRobertsprr Posts: 21
    Ok thanks for your help. I will just have to wait now till next year to get my normal bumper crop of Tomatoes, but certainly won’t be using Tomorite giant growbags. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,739
    Don't blame you @Robertsprr - unlike the manufacturer  ;)
    I've never used growbags. I just use bagged compost and pots, although this year I've moved my tiny little greenhouse onto a border so that I can get them in the ground, which gives me more height, and in theory, makes it easier to maintain them. So far so good. 
    I meant to say too - they had a bit of a nerve suggesting your plants had blight. While not totally impossible, that's pretty unusual in a greenhouse!
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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