18 Aug Creating a Japanese Tomato Ring
So there are multitudes of ways that we creatively add more space in our urban gardens. And some of these you don’t hear a lot about-like the Japanese Tomato Ring. The accounts that I have read bring up a good point-the tomato that springs up in the compost pile is often better than the ones we have babied in a pot. And although availability to nutrients must play a role, Daniel E. Mullins, an Extension Horticultural Agent with Santa Rosa County, suggests that we can recreate that same environment and save big-time on space with a Japanese Tomato Ring. A 3-foot wide cage will allow room for 4 plants to be evenly spaced.
How to Make a Tomato Ring:
- Purchase a 10 foot long piece of concrete reinforcing wire. It should be 5 feet wide with a 6 inch mesh size.
- Join the ends together and tie them securely, making a cage.
- Choose a sunny, 6 foot diameter space.
- Spade and turn the soil in that area to about 8 inches deep.
- Smooth area and add 6 inches of compose.
- Stand the wire cylinder upright on top of the first layer of compost and secure the base with short stakes.
- Sprinkle one-fourth cupful of dolomite lime and the same amount of a balanced garden fertilizer over the surface of the compost.
- Add a 6 inch deep layer of leaves, followed by another layer of compost, plus lime and fertilizer.
- Continue alternating layers of leaves and compost until the material on the inside of the wire reaches a minimum height of two and one-half feet. The top layer should consist of leaves. Shape the top layer so that it is concave, with the center being about 2 inches lower than the outside edge.
- Place a cupful of fertilizer on the surface of the top layer of leaves, in the center of the pile. Water from the top in order to thoroughly soak the pile.
- Set tomato plants in the ground on the outside, and within 2 inches of the base of the wire.