Organic Gardening: Anyone Can Grow a Salad

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Yesterday, we covered container gardening for readers who lack sufficient yard space. Today, Stori Snyder, assistant director of the Hilltop Garden and Nature Center at Indiana University Bloomington, provides additional tips on adding tomatoes and vegetables to the mix.

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Juicy Tomatoes

A tomato plant can grow well in a 5-gallon bucket, Snyder says. Plants come in many varieties, although compact ones grow better in containers and require less staking. Cherry and pear tomatoes look great in hanging baskets, she adds. Note: Tomatoes mature at different rates, so organic gardeners may want to select varieties that ripen at different times or that are indeterminate (ripening repeatedly until it becomes too cold).


Carrots and radishes grow quickly. Snyder recommends choosing “companion plants,” which grow well together because one plant provides the soil with a nutrient the other plant needs, and vice versa. Carrots and tomatoes are companion plants, she explains, as are roses and garlic. Basil and tomatoes are a dynamic duo with considerable aesthetic appeal. “They smell fantastic,” she says, and the variety of colors is interesting: yellow tomatoes and purple basil, for example.

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