It almost doesn't matter where in the country you live or the property you are living in because there is almost always at least one spot in the sun that can accommodate a single grow bag. In one fail swoop the ‘growbag’ revolution made it possible for the ordinary person to successfully grow fresh produce at home, irrespective of whether they had a garden or not.
Such is the culture of the grow bag that most amateur gardeners including a fair number of professional gardeners have an almost mythical belief in it’s capabilities to grow traditional greenhouse crops. With regards to growing tomatoes, if you have no ground in which to plant them in then clearly using a growbag is your best option, but if you have good quality soil available should you still use the bag or put your trust nature and plant your tomatoes in the ground?
As a native of the South American rainforests, the normal dispersal of tomato seed would begin with its consumption by wild animals or the local indigenous peoples. The digestive process helps to strip the seed of its jelly like coating which contains specialized chemicals that inhibit the seeds germination. After a few hours the seed is returned to the soil along with a dose of natural fertilizer. With the heat of this environment combined with high levels of rainfall, the tomato seeds will germinate within a couple of weeks, making full use of the nutrient rich soil that has been fermenting below them.
Sedge peat differs to moss peat in that it becomes greasy and compacts easily but it doesn't create a good open environment for root development. This is why all peat-based multi-purpose and specialist composts will contain moss peat and not sedge peat. It is however very cheap and as mentioned before, like moss peat it has no nutrients of its own which is why all grow bags must be supplemented with liquid feeds on an almost daily basis throughout the growing season. The problem with this is that the only nutrients that are available to your plants are the ones supplied by you.
So which is better for growing tomatoes, growbags or soil? At the end of the day tomatoes will always taste better in the ground but be aware though that constant cropping in the same soil can bring serious problems such as corky root, wilt and eelworm. To avoid this you would need to consider soil sterilisation, or change the soil every few years digging out the old soil and replacing it with humus rich, loamy soil from a part of the garden that has never cropped potatoes. The reason for this is that both tomatoes and potatoes are from the Solonacae family (compare their flowers) and you may inadvertently transfer blight spores with infected soil. To continue the argument, the problem with growbags is that they limit both the size and the flavour of your crop, however they are convenient.
At the end of the day the choice is yours, but perhaps the most important thing here is that you do get a choice.
How to Grow Giant Tomatoes
How to Grow Giant Tomatoes