We were recently contacted by some Hamilton residents who have been growing tomatoes in the front yard of their rental property much to the chagrin of their landlord. Here’s some advice if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
Unfortunately, according to City bylaws and the Hamilton Housing Help Centre, the landlord has the final say on what is planted in the front of the house. There are two routes that you can take if your landlord is displeased with your green thumbing: try for a compromise or move the plants to the rear of the property with the help of our handy transplanting guide.
You might want to try talking to your landlord in an attempt to convince them of the benefits of growing your own food, for example lessening your footprint by eating locally. Garden’s also provide a zone for friendly neighborly interaction and can help build community spirit. If your landlord is concerned the tomato plants alone are making the area an eyesore, ask if you could add something to make the area more visually appealing. For example, you could companion plant with some alliums like chives, ornamental onions or leaks that will serve the dual purpose of adding an interesting aesthetic component while driving away pests like aphids and slugs. Container planting is always another option which might be more agreeable with your landlord.
Luckily if this doesn't work there’s still hope for your mature plants. The tomato plants can still be transplanted at this stage in their lives. Although it may set them back just a bit from stress, in a few days they will take off and grow. Tomatoes are hardy plants that can recover from transplanting with little trouble by following these simple steps:
- Select a site: choose one with rich, sandy soil where the plants will receive at least 6 hours of full sun.
- Prepare the soil: for each plant mix 4 cups of compost and 4 cups of all-purpose fertilizer, such as 16-16-8, into the soil.
- Transplant tomato plants on a cloudy day or in the late afternoon or early evening.
- Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the full root system.
- Dig up the tomato plant carefully, taking care to disturb the roots as little as possible.
- Set the tomato plant in the hole, and then fill the hole with soil.
- Give plants a good amount of water immediately after planting and once per week thereafter. Water at the soil level.
- Fertilize tomato plants with ½ a tablespoon of fertilizer four and eight weeks after transplanting.
If you have any other tips and tricks or stories about gardening in your rental propertyplease feel free to reply here.
Best of luck, and happy Caprese salad eating!
Transplanting tips based off of organicgardening.com