There aren’t many things as satisfying as planting a seed, watching it grow and turn into a fruitful plant. Picking perfect homegrown tomatoes that you’ve spent so much effort growing is a rewarding experience. There isn’t much that you’ll need to grow tomatoes either. In fact, to grow tomatoes, all you need is a – tomato! It’s amazing how vegetable scraps can turn into beautiful, productive plants with just soil, water and sunlight. Tomato is one such plant that you can regrow from scraps. Continue reading and you’ll learn how to grow tomatoes from tomatoes.
Can You Grow Tomatoes From Tomatoes?
Yes, you definitely can! And it’s not even surprising. After all, fresh tomatoes have seeds inside them, and seeds grow! It’s a popular trick that many home gardeners have been practicing for ages. All you need are some fresh tomato slices to plant in the soil. Water them and watch them grow into a thriving plant that gives lots of fresh tomatoes.
Which Tomato Variety To Choose
You can even grow tomato plants from supermarket tomatoes that you have bought, but the level of success will depend on the variety and climate. Most supermarket tomatoes are hybrids and though they are more suitable for commercial production, planting their seeds may not result in exactly the same characteristics of tomatoes that you had initially bought.
Instead, look for heirloom tomatoes since they produce a more reliable crop, bearing fruit with the same characteristics as the parent tomato. You can easily find open-pollinated and heirloom tomatoes at the farmer’s market. Romas, beefsteaks and cherry tomatoes are all good choices to grow tomatoes from tomatoes.
Another thing to keep in mind when using the tomato slice propagation method on supermarket tomatoes is that the tomatoes might be sterile. This means that although the seeds may germinate and produce plants, the plants will not bear fruit. Make sure the tomatoes you buy with the intention to grow new plants are non-sterile.
Growing Tomatoes From Tomatoes
The technique is very simple. It can even be an exciting and educational project you can perform with your kids. Here’s how to grow tomatoes from tomatoes:
Material You Will Need
- Pot with drainage holes at the bottom
- Potting soil
- Fresh tomato slices, about ¼ inch thick
Steps To Grow Tomatoes From Tomatoes
- Cover the drainage hole in the pot with gravel.
- Fill the pot with potting soil until it is just a few inches from the top of the pot.
- Place the tomato slices flat over the soil.don’t add too many slices. Each slice will have several seeds, so 3 to 4 slices in a 1-gallon pot is sufficient.
- Cover the slices by sprinkling a thin layer of potting soil over it. Make sure not to bury them too deep since the tomato seeds are very small and will find it difficult sprouting from a thick layer of dirt over them.
- Water the pot just after planting and keep it moist throughout the season.
- Place the pot somewhere the temperature is between 69 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The seeds will germinate in about 7 to 14 days. You may get around 20 to 30 seedlings from 3 slices of tomatoes.
- Transplant seedlings in groups of 4 in separate pots. Discard the weak seedlings.
- Place the pots at a location where it gets plenty of sun.
- Once the 4 seedlings have grown some more, choose the two strongest ones to let grow further and discard the weaker ones.
Caring For Tomato Seedlings
Once you have the strongest tomato seedlings that you will continue to grow for the rest of the season, the rest is simple. These tomato seedlings are exactly the same as the ones you get from nursery-bought tomato seeds. Water them, fertilize them and make sure they get lots of sunlight to help them grow into vigorous plants and bear lots of fruits.
Once the weather is warm outside, you can transplant the tomato seedlings in the garden. If the pot is large enough, you can also let it grow in the pot through the rest of the season. The ideal pot size is 25 inches diameter for a single indeterminate tomato plant. For determinate varieties, 18-inches is sufficient.
Provide 1 to 2 inches of water each week. You may need to water more often during peak summers since the soil will dry faster. Mulch the soil around the tomato plants to conserve moisture between waterings.
It’s also a good idea to set up a tomato cage or stake in place while the seedlings are still young. Bigger tomato plants will have a more extensive root system that may be disturbed if you drive stake in the ground later on. As the tomato plants grow bigger, loosely tie the branches to the stake to provide support and keep the vines off the ground.
Fertilize them with a low-nitrogen food as soon as you see flowers, which is typically in around two months after transplanting the seedlings in the ground. Continue feeding lightly every two weeks throughout the flowering and fruiting stage, until frost kills the plant.
So this was how to grow tomatoes from tomatoes! Simple isn’t it? Try the miraculous technique at home and grow loads of fresh, juicy tomatoes from just a few slices! Not only will it save money, but also give you a decent supply of homegrown tomatoes to add to your pizza, pasta, soups and sauces – tomatoes go with almost everything you cook in the kitchen!