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HOW MANY?

Discussion in 'Poly-Tunnel Gardening' started by wavebuster, May 22, 2017.

  1. wavebuster

    wavebuster Gardener

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    I'm in dispute with a mate as to how many 12 ltr tomato pots a 6x3 mtr polytunnel should hold comfortably.
    He say's he would do 48 but I think that's cramming and would trim that down to 24 to give the plants more space....
    Any thoughts or advice will be appreciated and good luck for the tommy season
    John
     
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      Last edited: May 22, 2017
    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      It would be cramming them but can easily be done. My greenhouse is approx. that size and in the past we've grown 24 plants down one side. We don't have room for tomatoes any more as the greenhouse is crammed with other things.
       
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      • Scrungee

        Scrungee Well known for it

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        When I put 3 rows of staggered tomato plants either side of a central path, each row consisting of 9 plants, a total of 54 plants, it was a rĂ ther crammy in there, and that was with beefsteaks in the back row and stopped at about 1.2m high due to restricted headroom.

        Now I have two 3 x 6m tunnels I'm only growing 2 rows of 9 plants each side, a total of 36 plants per tunnel. I keep them apart by using polypropylene cord to pull the back row of canes to the profile of the cover (I've got battens with screw eyes along the horizontal tubes) and the front row canes go straight up, plus I have short canes from the top of the front canes going to the apex.

        That seems like plenty of room for them, and even enough for some stuff like dwarf french beans either side of the path.

        Have a look at the images in this thread of 3 rows and how I bent the canes Virtical plants in the poly tunnel With only 2 rows just the back canes will be pulled towards the cover.
         
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          Last edited: May 22, 2017
        • Steve R

          Steve R Soil Furtler

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          Hi John, as Scrungee says you can grow many, you grow what you want how you want in your tunnel..no disputes needed with your friend.

          12 litre pots seem small to grow toms in, you will be watering lots and lots. Is it not possible to grow in the ground? It will make watering a lot easier.

          But just to add to the "how many" question, here are a few photos from my holiday in Turkey last year.

          These tunnels are approx 6 ft high and each have 3 columns of tomatoes running down their length.

          [​IMG]

          This next shot shows their layout inside a greenhouse, but it is the same in their little tunnels too. It is a double row (I call it a column) with paths in beteen, each plant is 12 inches apart and the ros are 12 inches apart then they are grown up strings.

          [​IMG]

          And a close up of the plants.

          [​IMG]

          And access is easy for watering etc after..

          [​IMG]

          Now, a 6 x 3 metere tunnel could easily house 3 of these columns if you waanted. 20 plants in a row, so 40 plants in a column, 3 columns = 120 plants. But all the plants would need their growing tips cut out when they hit the plastic of the tunnel.

          You grow what your comfortable with.

          Steve...:)
           
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            Last edited: May 22, 2017
          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

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            I was busy packing for a few days holiday when posting above, I've now arrived and looking at pot sizes...

            Yes, 12L seems small unless perhaps if constantly watering. Last year I tried pots in a 3 x 6m tunnel for the first time using 25L pots and they seemed just about big enough. This year I'm using 10 x 30L pots 6 x 40L tubs on one side of a tunnel, and planting in borders the other side plus both sides in the other tunnel. 70 Plants in total.
             
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              Last edited: May 23, 2017
            • wavebuster

              wavebuster Gardener

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              Thankyou all for responding.
              It seems my mate was right, an ice cold beer has his name on it!
              Having only started tomato growing the last three years I'm a novice and constantly learning.
              Last year I planted 12 each side in a zig-zag formation which gave each plant approx 1/2 mtr room. I was lead to believe by doing this along with not allowing the leaves to overlap you reduce the chance of losing the whole crop through disease.
              Due to the heavy clay in my garden (and me not into digging) pots are by far the easiest way for me to go. Yes I water the plants daily but I was given 50 of these pots for free and as long as I keep the tom's fed and watered they thrive (my wife uses the same logic on me)
              The growers in Turkey certainly do cram them in! Great photo's Steve, thanks for sharing, and thanks to Scrungee and Shiney for your contributions.
              Must dash got to swat up on how to grow tomatoes!
               
            • roders

              roders Total Gardener

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            • Steve R

              Steve R Soil Furtler

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