Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Frugal Garden: Let Tomatoes Sprawl

Several experienced gardeners I have met and the Master Gardeners at the local 4H garden, no longer stake or support their tomatoes.  The tomato plants are allowed to sprawl and don't seem to suffer negatively for it.

Tomato Plants Provide A Backdrop For Marigolds

Staking tomatoes came about in an attempt to use space in the garden more effectively, but their natural growth pattern is to sprawl.  Plant your tomato starts, then mulch heavily with straw or other natural mulches.  The mulch will keep the tomatoes from resting on the soil and rotting.

I have gotten very good yields using this method.  There are no costs for staking materials and it cuts down on labor time.  The tomatoes grown in this way can be tucked into the flower gardens as accent plants.  The natural growth pattern makes them less obtrusive than if they were staked.

Tomatoes Look Like A Ground Cover
Try this method in a flower garden.  You may find it so easy and productive that allowing tomatoes to sprawl will become your preferred method of growing them.

I'm Looking Forward To Eating These

God bless,


  1. AH HA! At last, I can show my DH some supporting (or shall I say, non-supporting ???) evidence that my letting the tomatoes go crazy, i.e. not staked, WAS a good idea!

    Well, maybe it was because I was lazy, but I'm sticking to the theory that I'm just following a Master Gardener's advice! :)

  2. Thank you for the sprawl tips!!