Tomato experiment

Judy 2Judy 2 Posts: 3

Has anyone else tried out Monty's tomato experiment using small pots and feeding the plants?  I've been surprised how successfully mine are doing after following this idea, though I'm concerned that the flowers and fruit are limited. 

I'd be interested to read other people's comments.


  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    The idea is fine if you have plenty of time on your hands. I'm currently trying this method with 3 plants and I'm struggling to stop them from drying out. The rest of my plants which are in the bigger pots are doing so much better. So for that reason, I will stick with using the bigger pots in the future.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Judy, what's Monty's experiment? Can you give me some details?

  • Judy 2Judy 2 Posts: 3

    Hello Italophile.  Monty's experiment was to plant tomatoes in different sized pots but to give the smaller pots extra feed.  I agree with Marshmello that the smaller pots dry out quickly but I don't live in England and don't have to cope with the current heatwave, which must be making life difficult in the garden. 

    I've been feeding my small tomato pots every day and haven't fed the bigger pots at all so far.  The small pots have wonderful green growth and a few healthy-looking green tomatoes.  The bigger pots have far more fruit, though smaller, and flowers but the leaves don't look so healthy.  All the plants are outside but against the house wall with the added protection of an overhanging roof.  Perhaps it would be a different story if they were in a greenhouse.  I can't find growbags here at all, so I couldn't try that experiment.

    I may do the same as Marshmello next year and stick to the larger pots!  We've had a few storms recently and the smaller pots can get blown away.  Good luck with your plants, Marshmello.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,499

    Yeah, Monty decided to try it after visiting a chap who grew many, many different varieties in what looked like 25cm clay pots but only half filled with compost.  When I watched the programme, it didn't look like each plant had a very large crop to me, but he had a comparatively tall GH and grew them up twine suspended from the ceiling.  As that wouldn't work well in my standard shaped GH, I decided to give it a miss although the idea of growing more varieties but less crop per plant sounds ideal for me.  This year I have 10 types with 2 of each in the GH and 1 of each outside, all doing well so far thanks to the late planting and the perfect tomato growing weather since - the first year I have had uninterrupted ideal growing conditions!

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Judy 2Judy 2 Posts: 3

    I'm impressed with the number of varieties you're growing Bob!  I hope they all do well with the current weather.  Just out of interest, are you feeding the plants you have both inside and outside and if so, how often?

  • donutsmrsdonutsmrs Posts: 456

    I am growing my tomatoes in Auto Pots this year. I have put a membrane in the bottom of each pot and filled the pots with compost and planted the toms into it. It is keeping them well watered and all my plants are growing really well, as you can see. There is no chance of them drying out because water its fed into the tray all the time. It only lets in the right amount of water they require, it doesn't flood them to drowning point. The water comes from the water butts.


     All my Fuchsias are also in these pots and they are thriving. My Fuchsias were already in pots and I have just stood these pots into the Auto Pot.



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,499

    Hi Judy, I feed about once a fortnight with home-made comfrey feed.  This year I have Sungold, Cristal, Black Russian, Suncherry premium, Legend, Ferline, Stupice, Brandywine, Tamina and Coure di bue.  Already harvested a few sungold which I find are reliably the first to ripen and the last to stop cropping, so a real "good doer" as we gardeners say!

    The ones in the greenhouse are all planted the border trenches (compost replaced every 2 years) and my own experiment this year is to use 8" sections of 8" diameter waste pipe as "ring culture" bottomless pots placed on top of the border soil on one side of the GH and only water the feed into the rings.  On the other side they've gone straight into the soil. So far I can't see any difference, but as most toms are still green it's difficult to estimate crop sizes at the moment.

    The outdoor ones in 25 up to 40cm pots are doing equally well at the moment, but are difficult to keep sufficiently watered - a really good soak once a day is just about doing it - they still wilt badly but perk-up after dark so I know all is well.


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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