At the annual Kapiti Home and Garden Show, local firm Watsons’ star tomato grower gave a demonstration of how the experts grow tomatoes in small spaces.
Damon Braddock assisted by KCDC’s Green Gardner Hannah Zwartz showed us a cunning device – the old number 8 bent wire trick – growing many tomato plants in pots contained within a large plastic container. For this example he had his toms around a bamboo tepee. With the aid of his no 8 wire gizmo he cunningly selected one stem, twisted plastic string around it, got rid of all the laterals and most of the leaves allowing flowers to set and flourish to fruit on a minimal plant with lots of airflow. “Air flow and nourishment is what they need.” said Damon.
It may not look traditional or even beautiful but is was a neat and tidy way of having a good crop of tomatoes in a small area. The gizmo with the stems twisted with string was hooked to the top of the bamboo tepee and in the example we saw he had four separate types of tomatoes but he added there was room for more. “Plant some flowers as well” he added “to help the bees.”