How do I make the Japanese tomato ring to stake my tomatoes this year? Thanks.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Theresa: It is hard to beat the flavor of homegrown tomatoes. The growing method that was mentioned in the March issue of Kentucky Living Magazine was referring to a previous article written by Fred Wiche in which he had written about Japanese tomato rings. It’s certainly an interesting read in terms of the history of this growing technique and how it was named. To read the original article visit:
To create your own rings you will need a heavy gauge wire, stakes (wooden or metal), compost, good quality soil, fertilizer and of course, tomato starts. The wire is formed into a circle, held together by the stakes and then filled with layers of compost, fertilizer and soil. The rings are typically of 3-4 feet wide and tall but you can make them as big or small as you want. Install the stakes first and make sure that they are deep enough in the soil to support the wire as it is shaped around them. Attach the wire to the stakes with wire or zip ties for extra support. Then fill the inside of the ring with layers of compost and soil and fertilizer. When our frost-free date passed (early May) it will be safe to plant your tomatoes in the garden. Plant them on the outside of the ring and as they grow, secure them onto the wire ring.
Tomatoes thrive when planted in full sun and nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. The pH should range between 6.2-6.8. Rotating your tomato crop every couple of years is always a good idea. This will help prevent the spread of disease. Choose disease resistant varieties that are recommended for Kentucky gardeners. For more information on growing tomatoes in Kentucky visit: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/id/id128/id128.pdf
Kentucky Living-Ask the Gardener