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Ewell Monastery Growers

Working the Plants

When the plant reaches the wire it is let down and moved along. Eventually the plant stalks lay along the ground with the fruit picked and the leaves stripped off. These operations have to be done regularly and without fail as the mature plant grows a foot a week and produces a truss of seven or eight tomatoes each week.

The pollen has also to be shaken on each truss three days a week to make sure there is good pollination and so provide well formed fruit. As the photograph shows, we use electric ladders on wheels to reach up to the head of the plant which is about 9 foot above ground level.

'Buzzing' plants
lowering plants on mobile ladders
roller hook
leaf picking

Tomato plants need strings to support them. So overhead wires are placed above each plant row and string is supplied for each plant on a roller bobbin hook. The string is released as the plant grows.