Forum home Fruit & veg

Roots in the soil

joo6joo6 Posts: 6

I would really like some help as I'm new to growing veg and I can't seem to find the information I'm looking for online. 
Last year I grew tomatoes / cucumbers in my greenhouse. The cucumbers grew really well not so many tomatoes but enough for the two of us. 
The soil I have in the greenhouse is just full of little roots. I've tried getting them out which I must say is rather hard work but I'm willing to do this if they need removing. 
My questions are.... 
Do I have to get rid of them all?
Can I just top up the soil and try and dig it in, not easy as they are spread throughout the soil? 
Any help would be great. 
Thanks in advance


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,535

    The little roots are just the leftovers from last year. Just dig them in. If you still have the stems of whatever you were growing last year, remove them, but the hair roots are of no consequence.

    I wouldn't worry about pulling them out, they'll soon be broken down.

    If your toms didn't do that well last year, maybe remove some of the soil and replace with some fresh soil/compost, and when you plant your toms plant them deep - up to the first set of leaves, this will encourage feeding roots to grow from the lower part of the stem and let the plant take up more nutrients.

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • joo6joo6 Posts: 6

    Thank you for your reply. I've just been to look at soil/compost at my local diy store and even that's quite confusing. It's amazing just how many different types of the above you can find when you start looking. 

    Anyway, thanks for the advice on growing tomatoes it's most appreciated. 

    Regards June 

  • wrinkly1wrinkly1 Posts: 50

    there is another way of growing toms. i use a bucket with the bottom cut out and sink it in the ground to half it,s depth. i fill it with growbag compost . the toms can get their roots well down and the compost has feed in it for 6 weeks or so. then you can feed weekly. i,ve yoused this system for years with success .i hope this helps. all roads lead to rome. cheers WRINKLY1

  • joo6joo6 Posts: 6

    I spotted this way of growing tomatoes on the Internet. I think I will try growing them in different ways. One being a grow bag, another the way you do it and a third way which is straight in the ground. Thanks for the reply. 

    Regards June 

  • michael mpcmichael mpc Posts: 422

    hi joo6  as you will notice from time to time  we all have our ways of growing our toms  myself I transplant  from  4inch pots to large pots and plant in large pot then I put mine in washing up bowls  with gravel in base or2 bricks put water just below plant pot base to make plants go down for water    then increase water when it takes it up   (some will say it is wrong way  but in the end you do what works for YOU  but allways  try and get a good  compost       image  michael

  • joo6joo6 Posts: 6

    Thanks Michael sounds like another great way of growing toms.

    I have a metal shelf  ( in the greenhouse) which is around 5ft in height. I was thinking if I reduced it by half I could stand some trays / washing up bowls on it and grow some tomatoes the same way as you. 

    So, have I got this right? You water the gravel and not the soil. Can't you tell I'm new to this? 

    Regards June 

  • michael mpcmichael mpc Posts: 422

    hi joo6 yes  I water in base and feed the top  the way I do it but you don't have to if you are not sure I put a 1and half inch pipe in compost and  feed the plants that way   (  so water at base and feed the top )  a very old gardener told me that 20 odd yrs ago and it still works for me  (   but be warned some will say to much messing about )    Michael

  • joo6joo6 Posts: 6

    Thanks Michael 


Sign In or Register to comment.