GROW TOMATOES IN A SMALL SPACE
Everyone loves eating vine-ripened fresh tomatoes from the garden. It’s no wonder they are by-far the most popular vegetable grown in gardens. But tomatoes can grow into large plants and many gardeners with limited space might feel inhibited about growing them in their small yard or patio. No worries. With the right variety selection and some creative growing techniques, you can grow tomatoes almost anywhere.
1. Selecting the Right Varieties
If you only have room for a tomato in a pot, grow dwarf varieties. Old versions, such as ‘Patio Hybrid’, stay 2 feet tall, but produce fruit for a short period of time. Luckily, newer varieties such as ‘Lizzano’ and ‘Window Box Roma’ produce fruit all season without turning into giant plants. They’re perfect for containers. If you’re really cramped for space try growing the Topsy Turvy hanging tomato container. This container grows tomato plants upside down and it works, if you use dwarf varieties.
2. Keep them Vertical
While dwarf varieties don’t need supports to stay upright, all other tomato varieties do. If staking, trellising or caging plants in containers or a raised bed, use VELCRO® Brand Ties and VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties to keep the plants fastened to their supports. This will save space by keeping the plants contained and keep the fruits off the ground so they don’t rot. Use different colored plant ties for different plants, so you can keep track of the varieties.
To save space, plant your large tomato varieties 3 feet apart, and interplant quick maturing veggies, such as mesclun greens mix and radishes, between the tomato plants instead of in their own bed or container. The greens and radishes will mature in about 30 days, well before the tomatoes grow large enough to shade the area. Plus, you won’t have to weed that space between tomatoes because you’re growing food there!
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