How To Grow Tomatoes
In Edible Landscaping

Once you know how to grow tomatoes in a stylish and disease-free manner, they can become a beautiful addition to your edible landscape.

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Growing tomato plants in an edible landscape can be a challenge for many reasons: tomato diseases and their obvious "edible" status are just two of them.

For this reason, the design of your edible garden is very important if you want to grow tomatoes in your edible landscaping, especially if you'd like to grow them in the front yard.

Design considerations

When considering how to grow tomatoes to best advantage in your yard, first identify any problems or concerns that might arise. Here are some things to consider:

1) Size of your garden

If you have a very small yard or limited space to grow anything in your yard, grow indeterminate (or vining) tomatoes, as they can be grown vertically, with the use of tomato supports.

2) Your climate

A very humid climate (especially hot and humid ones), while the closest to the natural habitat of tomatoes, also leaves tomatoes more prone to disease.

Space your plants out to provide plenty of airflow, and grow disease-resistant varieties for best results.

3) Your neighborhood

If your neighborhood has had problems with theft or hordes of rowdy children pass by on a regular basis, don't grow tomatoes near the street, even on a private road. Having your precious tomatoes plundered for food fights is not pretty.

It's probably not a good idea to grow edibles near a public street in any case, due to increased chance of pollution.

4) Irrigation

While you can dry-garden tomatoes, they grow best with at least some watering. Planting them close to your irrigation will save you a lot of time and energy.

"Stealth" tomato gardening

In areas where front yard food growing has been forbidden or is considered a nuisance, what I call "stealth gardening" can be a way to grow tomatoes out front without calling attention to them.

Here are a few suggestions:

Use unusual varieties

There are many types of tomatoes, in a variety of colors from almost-white to almost-black. They can be huge and round like the beefsteak tomato, pear-shaped like the Roma tomato, a tiny round cherry tomato, or a variety of interesting irregular shapes.

If you grow an unusual tomato (such as one with an unusual color or shape), people will be much less likely to recognize it as a tomato.

Grow near other plants or items with similar colors

  • Red cherry tomato vines on the same trellis with orange-red nasturtium flowers (which most people don't know are edible)
  • Tomato varieties which are green when ripe planted in an all-green garden will blend into the scenery
  • Black tomatoes staked with black stakes in plots with a black edging (using a red mulch, for example) can cause a passerby to decide that these tomatoes are really garden ornaments! If you add black garden ornaments, too, the effect becomes even stronger.

    (this works for just about any color tomato except red)

Plant in decorative containers

Stunning containers and lush plants can distract from what's growing in the containers, even your "forbidden" fruits!

If your presentation is excellent, homeowner associations are often willing to turn a blind eye to breaking the "rules", especially if the non-edible portion of your yard is also in great shape.

Keeping a close eye on your plants and dealing swiftly with any diseased ones is the key to growing attractive tomato plants.

If you're a beginner and need information on how to grow tomatoes, try this course:

Growing Heirloom Tomatoes - $39.99

from: Craftsy

Would you like to learn more about how to grow tomatoes tastefully with a friendly group who loves edible gardening as much as you do? Join the Tasteful Landscape community.

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