Any experience planting veggies cluttered together?

homey_birdFebruary 8, 2011


Last year, a few rotten tomatoes thrown into my compost pile (in the ground, not in the bin) had their seeds sprouted and gifted me with handsome 50+ tomato plants!

Although I had wanted to, I did not have the heart to separate the plants and plant them in regular rows etc. as is advised.

My experience with this huddled-together planting was phenomenal. The plants soon formed a canopy that covered the ground completely (due to their proximity) and that helped prevent the drying out of my garden beds. Throughout the summer, I do not recall a single time when my tomato plants seemed thirsty, inspite of getting blasted with Sun for 6-8 hours or more. Sure, it was a bit of a pain to support them but overall this was very very successful experiment. I got no fungus, no bugs either (thanks to the location).

So -- I wanted to share this and find out if any of you have been generally informal in planting the seedlings outside, or still plant individual seedlings at a distance. I am taking my tomato seedlings (sprouted indoors this time) and am considering repeating this model.

Also, plan to repeat this for beans, cukes and some other veggies that I plan to grow this season.

Any comments or concerns? Thanks in advance!

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Absolutely a success in my case too. I planted tomatoes very close, and got a good yield and the plants were healthy. I supplemented with fish fert and they all thrived happily.

Some may argue that the size of the toms may suffer or the yield might, but given the number of plants and their output, I did not suffer on quantity or quality.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 5:42PM
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This makes me happy to know as I started way too many tomato seeds and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with all of them. It is only my second season gardening but you live and learn. I will be sharing some with family and friends.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 1:13PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

I love reading about these experiments. I think often times that gardening literature states the "ideal" conditions, or perhaps just repeats what's always been said.

When I first started gardening I wanted to try everything, including growing perennials from seed. I took great care to follow all the instructions to the letter ---- water from below, etc. Well, later I noticed seedlings of similar plants popping up in nursery pots in our backyard, thriving in spite of being (gasp!) watered from above by rain and sprinklers. Heh, so much for "watering only from below"!

Another time, I dug up a rose and (temporarily) tossed it on the compost pile. It rooted and produced new leaves. So much for "Roses need lots of TLC", LOL.

Thanks for sharing your experience with your tomatoes.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 2:52PM
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Yes! I love letting some volunteers grow with some inter-mixing and sometimes even just scattered seeds and seeing how it works - cilantro, squash and cabbage together was my best one last year. Raspberriess and carrots seemed okay too. Not all are successes, as one shades out or out-competes the other -- tomatoes lead for me in that category.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 3:40PM
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