Plant Halos are designed to make growing tomato, pepper and aubergines plants much easier and to help provide the plants with the optimum growing conditions, whilst making it easier and less labour intensive to the grower.
They provide the tomato plant with a medium term watering solution and even provide crop support, with the use of bamboo canes inserted into the halo. Halos allow plants to develop a much bigger root system than tomatoes just planted into a growbag and the watering system ensures that water is readily available. The watering reservoir has a 3 litre capacity.
They can be used with growbags, large plant pots, raised beds or in the vegetable
Plant Halos are a ring culture pot, made in the UK, by Garland.
How to Use Plant Halos
In this next section, we'll look at setting up your Plant Halos. We're using the following equipment:
Grow-Bag Cane Frame
Three tomato plants
All the above is not necessary, it just depends on how you want to setup the Halos.
The Plant Halo I'm using was used last year, and is pictured right. They have a five year guarantee as standard.
Remove the cane grip moulding from the centre of each halo. If you are using growbags, loosen any compacted compost in the bag, prior to planting, and space the units equally. It is also a good idea to piece the base of the bags to make drainage holes.
Up to three Plant Halos can be used for a standard growbag. We would thoroughly recommend using the giant growbags, with up to 50 litres of compost per bag, rather than the smaller bags. Using a bigger bag gives the plants much more room and will help increase yields and reduce maintenance.
Marking the Growbag Position
To mark where the Plant Halos will sit on the growbag, position them equally across the bag, and just press down, as firmly as possible.
This will cause the watering spikes to either indent or pierce the plastic. This then marks the area where the halos will sit when installed and planted up.
Remove the Halos from the growbag.
Cutting the Growbags
Using a sharp pair of scissors cut around the outside of the indentations, making a slightly larger hole than marked. This doesn't need to be too tidy, thankfully!
Note on the picture, right, the indentations made by pressing down. Some of these have pierced the polythene, some have not. They are all clearly shown and visible, the stretched polythene has turned white at the point of impact.
Cutting is like joining up the dots, however cut slightly larger than the marks, although it doesn't have to be a perfect circle.
Planting the Halos
Position each Plant Halo, ensuring that the six watering spikes are fully buried in the compost. Fill the inner pot with compost and then plant, ensuring the inner level is no closer than 5cm from the top rim.
Insert bamboo canes, one each, into the three cane holder slots, around the inner rim. You may also like to put a bamboo cane in the centre of the inner pot, next to the plant. Use the cane grip moulding to gather
I prefer to just use a single bamboo cane, as space is quite tight in my greenhouse. I therefore use Plant Halos in conjunction with the Grow-Bag Cane Frame, which firmly holds a single cane.
Watering Plant Halos
To help establish the plant's root structure, water the Plant Halo's inner pot only for the first 14 days. After this period, also add water to the outer reservoir - half fill only for the next three weeks and fully fill thereafter.
Never allow the compost in the inner circle to dry out completely. If you notice that water immediately floods out of the growbag or pot, skip the next watering circle.
Mature plants can be very thirsty in hot weather, so you may need to water every day.
Tomato Maintenance in Plant Halos
Ideally, when growing tomato plants your Plant Halo growbag should be sited in a greenhouse, polytunnel or sheltered, south-facing sunny spot in the garden.
When the first fruits set on tomato plants, tomato feed should be added to the watering can, mixed and applied to the outer water reservoir once a week. Never let the growbag dry out.
Pinch out any side shoots, where appropriate
Crop as soon as the fruits ripen and continually harvest the tomatoes to ensure new fruits are produced.
Shopping for Plant Halos and More...
The following items, featured in this article, can be viewed in our store:Plant HalosGrowbag TraysGrow-Bag Cane Frame Liquid Tomato Food
Should you have any questions on Plant Halos or tomato growing feel free to drop us a line and we'd love to see some pictures of your tomatoes too!