How to Make a Japanese Tomato Ring
A Japanese tomato ring is a growing technique that can produce some of the sweetest tasting cherry tomatoes you will ever have. The tomato ring is perfect when you have little space as they are designed with that in mind. These tomato rings are also very easy to maintain, harvest and water. The size of the ring is also able to be sized to the location you have to work with. This article will show you to build a Japanese tomato ring.
Step 1: Build the Tomato Ring
Unroll the fencing on a level work area. Use your tape measure to measure out a section of the wire fence that is 3 feet long. This length can be as large or as small as you need it to be in order to fit your area. You can plant normal tomatoes in a tomato ring but you will have to vary the size of the ring. A 1 1/2-foot ring or 3-foot ring is perfect for cherry tomatoes. Pull the ends of the wire fence together to make a circle and wire the ends closed.
Step 2: Choose and Prepare a Location
Read up on how to plant tomatoes and choose an area where they will thrive. Take a shovel and dig a hole in the center of the area where you plan to plant the tomato plants. Make the hole about 3 inches deep but just slightly smaller than the size of the ring itself. Doing this helps retain the water and nutrients that is produced by the compost. Move the tomato ring to the hole you've dug and center it then press it in the soil.
Step 3: Composting
Compost is the best way to grow tomato plants. Use only plant compost like leaves, grass and food scraps. Do not use any meat in this compost. Fill the center of the tomato ring with this compost but in brown and green layers. This will maximize your compost. You can use newspaper in your brown layer but make certain that there are no harmful dyes in the print. Try to fill the ring with enough compost to reach the top of the area that you dug out. The compost will break down and you can add to it all year.
Step 4: Planting
Wait for a few days before you plant the tomato plants. You want the rings to set in the soil for this time while the compost settles. After a couple of days you can plant your tomato plants on the outside of the Japanese tomato ring. If you are planting cherry tomatoes, use three plants on the ring. If you are planting larger tomatoes, like roma or beefsteak, plant two per ring. This allows room for good grooming and easy picking.
Step 5: Continued Care
Add more compost during the season as space permits. Remove the tomato ring and rototill the compost into the garden soil.