Planting Tomato Slices by Dan Garduno
I recently came across a post online from another gardener and blogger on how he plants slices of tomatoes directly into a pot of soil, resulting in dozens of tomato plants.
I was pretty amazed and skeptical at first. I’ve always been taught to collect the seeds and then rinse them and soak them to remove the coating on the outside of the seed to allow them to germinate and grow properly. When I saw this blog post, I could not believe how much easier this method would be! And I was skeptical, but also I thought to myself, “Why wouldn’t it work? This is exactly how nature works!”
So I watched his video which showed him with several different pots all in different stages of growth. First showing a pot with just soil, then the next pot with 4 slices of tomatoes and the next one with some seedlings growing (as seen to the right). And then a few more pots where he shows how he thins them out until just keeping 1-3 plants per pot.
Being that he showed them in stages and not showing the original pot in each stages as a time lapse, I was still skeptical that it could actually work with such little effort and energy. So I decided I had to try this experiment for myself!
I started out one night by setting aside 2 slices of an organic tomato that we acquired for free from a local food line, as I was preparing dinner. I had some organic compost and some yogurt containers as well as this organic tomato, so I decided to give it a try. I filled the yogurt containers about 3/4 full with compost and in 1 container I put an entire tomato slice on top of the compost. Then loosely covered with more compost. The 2nd slice, I decided to cut into 3 smaller pieces and put each into their own separate containers, so I ended up with 4 planted containers total.
I watered them every other day to keep them moist. I placed them in a cool less lit area of our office and just kept an eye on them for a few days. Within 8 days I have my first sprouts! I was impressed! It had worked!
Over the next few days, more and more sprouts come up. I decided to replant the sprouts that I pulled out while thinning out the containers, unlike the guy in the video who just thinned them out by tossing the sprouts onto the ground. I used up-cycled plastic water bottles that were converted into small self watering containers which are perfect for seed germination and keeping your seedlings watered constantly, especially in this hot dry climate we have here in the high desert of Albuquerque.
By the time I was done making this containers and transplanting the sprouts into them individually, I ended up with 50 separate tomato plants! Being that we are in an office here and just growing some plants in our windowsill for passer byers to see, we didn’t have enough room to grow that many plants here. In the past I’ve sold some plants before, so once they matured to a few inches tall, we decided to sell these for $3 each, or 2 for $5.Just 2 slices from 1 free organic tomato, resulted in a potential of $125-$150 in profit! Imagine if I planted the entire tomato!!! This is a perfect example of my last blog, Eat Organic Produce For Free!
“The Glassman” will be posting more blogs and ideas as well as hosting many workshops on Self-sustainability, urban farming/agriculture, windowsill gardening, composting, upcycling, self water planters and grow beds, solar passive heating, collecting and purifying rain water, mass heaters and rocket stoves, papercrete, hemp cement, and so much more on his blog!
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