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Tenant questions their 'unreasonable' landlord's sudden landscaping request: 'Everything was going well'

Some states have laws that give tenants the right to garden, assuming certain conditions.

Some states have laws that give tenants the right to garden, assuming certain conditions.

Photo Credit: iStock

Dealing with landlords can be challenging, and one renter's situation involving a tomato plant is no exception.

The tenant took to Reddit and sought advice from the r/vegetablegardening community after their landlord requested the relocation of their tomato plant.

The user, who lives in an apartment building, received the landlord's verbal permission to create a makeshift garden around the apartment foundation. Everything was going well until "[the landlord] saw I have a tomato plant. They let me know that tomato plants attract skunks … so I can't put them in the ground and would I please hang them from the porch."

The user was hesitant to move the plant, as the porch would create unfavorable conditions for their tomatoes, and questioned the validity of the skunk claim.

As for the skunks, they're known to be opportunistic eaters. Mother Nature Garden Center wrote that "[skunks] may not deliberately seek tomatoes, but if they find them close to the ground and within their reach, it will definitely be an item on their dinner menu." 

If the area is already known for skunks, then the introduction of a new garden may encourage the skunks to eat and den there.

Still, it's worth reviewing the lease for any restrictions around gardening and trying to find a compromise. Some states even have laws that give tenants the right to garden, assuming certain conditions, like plant height and herbicide use, are enforced. But if all else fails, you can check out your local community gardens.

Gardening has several benefits. Studies show that people who garden are physically healthier and experience lower levels of depression and anxiety than those who don't. And you don't have to do it alone — community gardening can increase feelings of belonging and strengthen bonds. 

So, while the user may have to move their tomato plant to prevent pests, not every home change has to be a battle. If you know where to start, you can often work around HOA and landlord restrictions to make eco-friendly changes.

There was a sense of disappointment in the comment section regarding the landlord's decision,  with one user saying, "Sorry your landlord is unreasonable."

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