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Old January 24, 2017   #1
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: new zealand
Posts: 20
Default Stem Roots

Hi i just had a idea today when i was watering my plants ,they are getting quite tall now anyway i had this idea of building a box around the stem and fill it with soil as they grow taller you add another layer of boxing up the stem and as you prune them. would they grow new roots up the stem ?

Please share your thoughts on this idea

Last edited by raven87; January 24, 2017 at 02:40 AM.
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Old January 24, 2017   #2
BettaPonic's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: NOVA
Posts: 114

Similar methods are used for potatoes.
Big Tomato Fan, mostly grow Tomatoes from cuttings, all Tomatoes are grown in Coco Coir/Grow stone. I love Air Pruning.
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Old January 24, 2017   #3
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Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 5,016

except with potatoes, the edible crop comes from the roots...

If you were to do that, the stem would produce roots along the buried portion yes, however that takes energy away from other growth and I don't think it would benefit the fruit production, possibly the opposite and you would need to maintain moisture in the structure. Plants know what to do if you let them roots grow down into soil and feeder roots spread out just under the surface of the soil all around the plant. There's no need to try and change mother natures ideas about tomato roots.
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Old January 24, 2017   #4
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Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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You will get some different POV's by google for "hilling tomato plants". I think it has merit in specific situations - when a plant is in the ground and waterlogged, you can create drainage and a chance for the plant to rebuild a damaged root system by hilling up and at the same time making a ditch along the row.
Maybe this is why it was a common practice in some parts but not others.

I find this idea interesting because of plants getting rootbound in containers at a certain point in the season, where the roots go right to the surface and are exposed because of feeding from the top. So I'm interested in the idea of building up - even if only a few inches - that would allow feeding and topping up the plants at that stage.
Just wondering if I could use something like plastic edging to do that.
It would be cool to see a side by side comparison of how the plants did with and without the box... then we'd know for sure.
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Old January 24, 2017   #5
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Location: Vancouver Island
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hilling up of garden soil or topdressing pots to cover exposed roots I do as well. The roots exposed in this way in my garden usually from watering. the problem in minimized or at least less visible with mulch in place which helps prevent the soil from washing away with rain or watering.
I was envisioning a tall rectangular box structure built upwards encasing the stem a couple feet from the soil line when I made my comments.
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Old January 29, 2017   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 25 miles southeast of Waterloo Texas.
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I went to a town garden event and they had hilled up all of the plants in rows including the tomatoes.
And I mean like dikes they were so tall.
This was in Austin where it is dry in the summer.
This is exactly what you don't want to do here.

Also this soil was well drained sandy loam.
It seemed as thought everyone was listening to the speaker and what to do and how to do it.
Everything this guy said and the folks hung on to was wrong an many ways.
I wont list them all.'
I will say I just walked away.

Hilling in the deep south is for wet soggy black clay like soil like on the coast where it rains a lot.
Just the opposite is true for many parts of where I live but not all.
You have to know your soil and what it does.
Hilling also allows the hill part of the soil to warm up faster.
Where I live I cant count how many types of soil there is in a one mile radius of me.

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