Although it’s still a bit early, if you have a heated greenhouse or live in a really mild area, you can think about planting early tomatoes now.
The most popular method, especially with beginners, is to plant straight into grow bags, which have some advantages – the compost inside should be free from pests, diseases and weeds, and contain a balance of nutrients ideal for tomatoes.
Plus, you can also try ‘plant haloes’ to make the process even easier – either in your grow bag or into a greenhouse border of compost – which involves growing your tomato plants in tomato rings with a watering moat around the outside, pushed into your growbag planting hole. Put consistent amounts of water into one ring, and apply liquid feed to the other. This is supposed to help your tomato plants develop separate sets of searching roots – one for water and one for feed – meaning stronger, bigger roots and higher yields. Also it directs food and water specifically to each plant and not to the whole bag of compost!
Another method – ring culture – involves bottomless pots placed on a bed of aggregate, such as gravel. Many also find watering and feeding easier to control using this traditional method, and it keeps the root area strengthened, sterile and free of disease.