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Tomato 'Moneymaker' plants put into growbags


By balcony


Today, 20th June, I spent a few hours on the balcony & finally got around to putting my Tomato ‘Moneymaker’ plants into growbags on the balcony floor!

Before I could do that I had to prepare the balcony – not an easy a task as it might seem at first! First I had to move the trays of tomato plants off the table, then I had to find somewhere to put them! Somewhere that I might avoid falling over them & breaking them!

Done! Now it was the turn of the 2 Marguerite standards, they had to be moved out of the way so I could take the big, round table down without breaking them as well!

Once they were safely out of the way I had to finish taking the smaller pots of plants, like Dianthus ‘China Pinks’, off the table & find them a place so that I wouldn’t step on them either! Done!

The Dragon tree also had to be moved out of the way so I could get on with the task in hand! Done!

Now that’s all done I can get on & sweep the compost up that lying all over the floor. Done!

Now to fix up the shelving to the wall. That took some doing but eventually that task was completed as well!

Phew!!! (It’s beginning to get rather warm on the balcony by now & I’m still some way from planting up the tomatoes!)

Now the table is free of everything & I can get on & dismantle it! Taking down this big table frees up a lot of space on the balcony! I can get 2 growbags in the space as well as a couple of other big pots that will eventually hide the lower stems of the tomato plants. Done!

There was just enough room beside the shelves on the wall for me to squeeze the dismounted table in! After cleaning it I now have a bright light reflecting service that should help the plants in the 2 growbags. Done!

Now it was time at last to get the growbags into position!

But now the temperature’s increasing & I’m getting rather hot – & not just under the collar, either! (For the 3rd day in a row we are forecast temps that could reach 30C! Far, far too hot for the UK!!!) I fluff up the bags so as to get some air into them & so the roots of the plants can move around without hindrance! Done!

I put the first bag crossways & the 2nd lengthways. I now have 2 sides of a square! I put in three growpots, (that I bought years ago & used only once or twice), in the first growbag. (These are pots that have an inner ring where you plant your tomato & add the fertilizer & an outer ring, where you put only water. They sit on the surface of the compost after you have cut out a ring of the plastic bag. They also have holes for canes in the 4 interior corners.) Done!

(I’ll have to get a move on if I don’t want to be cooked as it’s beginning to get a little uncomfortable with the sun creeping in minute by minute & now almost on my back!)

I’ve now put the first 3 plants in, now for the 2nd bag.

Like the first one, I fluff it up & then make up my own (poor imitation) growpots! (goodness me, it’s getting HOT!) These consist of dark green plant holders. I found two that would suffice & made half a dozen holes in the base of each one, these will serve as the outer ring where the plain water goes. Not having a third I had to improvise further & use a plastic pot, this fortunately already has holes in its base! Done! I then planted the other 3 tomato plants. Done!

(Boy is my back burning now!)

Just time for a quick tidy up before going to get the bottles of water to water in the plants & stop them from drying out during the afternoon & evening. Fortunately for the plants, the corner I’ve put them in is the shadiest part of the balcony as the sun makes its way westwards during the afternoon.

As the summer wears on to autumn so the sun’s position in the sky with respect to the balcony changes. From now onwards the sun will very slowly creep back to light up that corner more & more as the weeks go by. So the ripening tomatoes will get all the benefit of many hours of sunlight.

By now I’m almost faint because of the heat which is almost 27C! But, for now, I’m done (Though still rare on the inside!)

Today is June 26th, I’ve finished everything I needed to do to get the tomatoes off to the best possible start.

I’ve planted up the last Growbag & now the plants are settling in.

A few plants have flowers already!

Today I finished off by tying some soft string around the bases of the plants & tying this to a thicker piece of string that runs along the ceiling of the balcony.

Now all I have to do is to twist the growing stems around this string to hold them up. I’ve used this method for many years now & it functions very well!

When they ripen our 3 grandkids will help me to pick them!

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wow that is a lot of lifting and shifting pots. but the fruits of your labour will be lots of lovely toms. :o)

26 Jun, 2017


Well you certainly deserve a good crop of tomatoes! I feel quite hot just reading about it...

26 Jun, 2017


Wow, I'm the same, feeling hot just reading. I was telling my brother about your balcony the other day. He too is a keen gardener and also only has a balcony. I was telling him just how much you manage to get on your balcony! :-)

27 Jun, 2017


Glad to read some instruction about the plastic ring things.
I didnt buy them as couldnt understand what I was supposed to do with them.
I bought my Tomato plants in March at the GC. Put them in 3" pots on the living room window sill in J.I.No 3.
Then moved them out onto the south facing balcony early April as they are protected by the flat wall from frost out there.
Then took them down to the greenhouse early May and replanted into 8" pots standing on the concrete floor. They are now 6 ft tall. Standing in water in the drip tray, when its not evaporated by the heat. Nothing wasted.
I too have graduated to the empty plastic lemonade bottle idea for watering my balcony half baskets which are coming on nicely now with rockery plants all flowering well in front of pink Dianthus. Why
didnt I think of that before ?

27 Jun, 2017


My gosh, 10/10 for perseverance. I think I would have given up long before I got the growbags on the ground. It will be worth it though.

27 Jun, 2017


Thank you all for your comments!

SBG, I certainly hope to enjoy the "fruits of my labour" in the form of lots of juicy tomatoes!

Stera, not half as hot as I got! LOL! :-D)

Jen, I'm glad my work on the balcony has been of stimulus to someone else! Hope he gets a lot out of it!

Diane, I'm glad I've been able to clear up for you the use of these growbags pots/rings. They are very useful & they give the plants that little bit extra room as well.

Thanks, Lisam for that generous scoring you gave me! I hope it will be worth all the effort & that we will be rewarded by lots of lovely tomatoes! Even so this isn't the first time I've done this! No, I've been growing tomatoes, mostly in pots, for most of my gardening life - now getting on for 50 years!

I started growing tomatoes on our balconies when we lived in Spain. No greenhouse or allotments, not even gardens! Just balconies - of all shapes & sizes & expositions!

27 Jun, 2017


It was hot wasn't it. I hope you were all right after working in those temperatures.
You should get a nice crop of tomatoes with the sun shining in on them like that. I was thinking of growing mine in grow bags this year but decided on pots in the end.

28 Jun, 2017


Congratulations, you are very organized.
I had no place to put a tomato plant gained, so I planted with the laurel.
Will take a picture and post.

1 Jul, 2017


Thanks, Hywel, for your concern but I was alright I managed to get inside the house before I got too hot!
I'm also hoping to get a good crop as well! Most years I get a reasonable amount from my plants! :-))

Aleyna: I hope your tomato plant does well in with the Laurel! I'm looking forward to further updates on its progress during the year!

Mine seem to have settled down very well & are making good growth as well as many flowers - but no baby tomatoes yet! :-((

4 Jul, 2017

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