I love tomatoes and, like most gardeners, include them in my list of crops to plant. We usually start our own plants from seed with varied success. Recently, I came across a tomato propagation method that blew my mind with its simplicity. Of course, why wouldn’t it work? I’m talking about growing tomatoes from a tomato slice. Is it really possible to grow a tomato from sliced tomato fruit? Keep reading to find out if you can start plants from tomato slices.
Can You Start Plants from Tomato Slices?
Tomato slice propagation is a new one to me, but really, there are seeds in there, so why not? Of course, there is one thing to keep in mind: your tomatoes might be sterile. So you might get plants by planting tomato slices, but they may never beget fruit. Still, if you have a couple of tomatoes that are going south, instead of throwing them out, a little experiment in tomato slice propagation should be order.
How to Grow a Tomato from Sliced Tomato Fruit
Growing tomatoes from a tomato slice is a really easy project, and the mystery of what may or may not come from it is part of the fun. You can use romas, beefsteaks, or even cherry tomatoes when planting tomato slices. To begin, fill a pot or container with potting soil, almost to the top of the container. Slice the tomato into ¼ inch thick slices. Lay the tomato slices cut sides down in a circle around the pot, and lightly cover them with more potting soil. Don’t put too many slices in. Three or four slices per gallon pot is enough. Trust me, you are going to get plenty of tomato starts. Water the pot of slicing tomatoes and keep it moist. The seeds should begin to germinate within 7-14 days. You will end up with upwards of 30-50 tomato seedlings. Select the strongest ones and transplant them to another pot in groups of four. After the four have grown a bit, select the 1 or 2 strongest and allow them to grow. Voila, you have tomato plants!
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Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.
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