Join the RHS today and support our charity
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Make a donation
I have forgotten my password
Keep me signed in
Register for free to receive our newsletters, add comments to blogs/articles and to save content.
See what events are on near you and browse your bookmarked pages.
Don’t miss out - book in advance and save
Greenhouse crops, especially tomatoes, are liable to many soil-borne pests and diseases. Ring culture, where bottomless pots rest on a bed of porous aggregate (such as gravel), prevents root diseases and also allows roots access to a large volume of consistently moist material.
Suitable for Indoor tomatoes. Also used for aubergines, chillies, chrysanthemums and sweet peppersTiming Spring to summerDifficulty Moderate
Tomatoes are ideal for ring culture as they are very susceptible to soil-borne problems and having strong roots means they can take advantage of the large volume of aggregate. Other crops are less likely to benefit but aubergines, chilli peppers, chrysanthemums and sweet peppers could be grown in this way.
Prepare the aggregate bed a couple of weeks before planting young tomatoes and other crops into their positions in April.
Try using gravel, hydroleca or perlite as your aggregate.
After the crop is finished, remove the aerial parts of the plant and ease the roots out of the aggregate and discard.
Clean and disinfect the aggregate after clearing the crop. The material can be used for many years unless problems arise. To avoid polluting watercourses and ground water, aggregate should not be cleansed in situ, but lifted, washed and the disinfectant solution safely disposed of, according to the manufacturers' instructions.
Tomatoes can suffer from a range of possible pest and disease problems, including verticillium wilt, potato cyst nematodes and tomato blight.
Glasshouse whiteflyTomato blightTomato leaf mouldTomato virusesTomatoes: fruit ripening problemsTomatoes: fruit splitting and crackingTomatoes: leaf problemsTomatoes: stem problemsVerticillium wiltWeedkiller damage
HydroponicsRHS Grow Your OwnTomatoes
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
Register for the site or sign in to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9