Can you grow tomatoes from a Slice of Tomato? Here’s how to do it (and what not to do) based on an experiment I made last year.
In a previous post, I talked about how to save tomato seed and store them for the next season. But there’s another way to grow tomatoes based on an experiment I made last year when I was getting started in edible gardening.
Grow Tomatoes from a Slice of Tomato
I cut a slice about 1-1.5cm thick from the middle of a ripe store-bought tomato, put it in a small pot and covered it with about 1.5 cm of potting mix. I kept it moist with a daily mist of water and about two weeks later, the seeds germinated and I had tiny seedlings growing.
Once the first set of true leaves formed, I thinned out the seedlings and kept the strongest ones. When they grew to about 10 cm high, I planted the healthiest looking plants into a large container, added powdered eggshells for a calcium boost and waited. And I mean, waited.
The mistake I made was that I did this experiment in autumn/fall when tomato season was well and truly over in Sydney’s temperate climate. During winter, the seedlings didn’t grow much and the leaves turned dark purple. I thought the plants were dying or low in phosphorus but I continued to care for them during the winter months and once spring came along, the leaves started turning green and the plant showed significant growth.
I transplanted them into larger pots, 30cm in diameter and as the weather warmed up, tiny flowers appeared and fruit started to form. I fed the plant fortnightly alternating between a liquid fertiliser and seaweed tonic.
As you can see from the photo above, I managed to harvest a handful of tomatoes before the plant eventually gave up, either due to the life cycle or the irregular watering during the Sydney drought.
If you’re asking yourself, can I grow tomatoes from a tomato? The answer is yes. Here’s what I would do differently:
- Use heirloom tomatoes preferably from a farmers market not a supermarket variety.
- Plant it in season, which is spring-summer for Sydney’s climate.
- Add organic compost and a little blood and bone when transplanting into the larger pot.
- Water more regularly as tomatoes love water and are heavy feeders.
Would I do it again? Not likely. Seed is cheap when you buy it online and I’d much rather grow tomato varieties that I can’t buy every day.
Next season, I’m hoping to grow Indigo Rose Tomato, Reisetomate, Tigerella and Green Zebra – all from seed.
Want to Know More?
You’ll find more information on how to grow tomatoes, which varieties to try, how to pair it with food and spirits, and how to use tomatoes in cocktails including a full recipe in my 260+ page digital book GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN available now.