How To grow Tomatoes From Tomatoes

how to grow tomatoes from a tomato

Back in June, I got some cherry plum tomatoes from a local store and they were particularly tasty. There was no variety on the packaging and I really wanted to grow my own. That got me thinking is it possible to grow tomatoes from tomatoes.

I’ve saved my own seed for years now with great success, but that requires drying out the seed etc… So my plan was to actually just bury slices of tomato in soil and hope they sprout. This is the story of my journey and how it went.

For tips on how to save seed click here.

Necessary Equipment

All I needed was a sharp knife, a fairly large pot, and some compost. Oh, and the tomato of course.

How To Grow Tomatoes From Tomatoes

The method I used was, fill the pot around three quarters full with compost. Then sliced what turned out to be three cherry plum tomatoes and placed them on the compost. I then buried the slices with more compost and watered well.

The pot was then placed in an unheated greenhouse, in indirect sunlight.

What Happened Next

After just 7 days, the pot was covered in seedlings. It looked as though every seed had germinated. I have never had that success rate with seeds that I’ve purchased from seed merchants!

By day 15 the seedlings were getting quite large, but they still never had any true leaves. All they had were the cotyledon leaf, that’s the leaf that comes straight from the seed. It’s purpose is to convert energy from the light into food for the emerging plant.

At day 18 the true tomato leaves were starting to show. It was at this point I potted them on into individual pots. Well, that’s most of them, I ran out of pots and so some ended up at random places around the garden.

Time For Some Background Information

I started this project late in the season, I live in the UK and Summers can be unpredictable at best. So it came as no surprise that as soon as September arrived, the weather changed. Cold, wet and windy with little sunshine at all.

So this has slowed the tomato production process down, it’s not stopped it, just slowed it down. The tomato pieces were put in soil around the end of June, by mid July they were at the repot stage. Mid August they were developing flowers, and everything was looking good for a early to mid September harvest, then the weather broke.

By early October the perfectly formed fruit, which has the same appearance to the original fruit, was stone green and waiting to ripen. I transferred one pot to the greenhouse to afford it some protection from the weather and waited with baited breath. I have to say that at this point, I consider the experiment a complete success and the only reason for non ripened fruit was the weather.

Which in all fairness was my fault, had I started this project earlier I would have finished the tomatoes by now.

How To Grow Tomatoes From A Tomato-Update

So October came and went, with only 2 tomatoes ripe, and both from the greenhouse. It’s now early November and it’s obvious to me that the outdoor tomatoes are a bust, and sadly they will not ripen before the frost that’s forecast. That said, I have had 11 ripen in the greenhouse.

I taste tested 9 and as you can probably work out from the fact I ate 9, they were as good, if not better than the original. The other 2 I’ve saved seeds from, and I will be growing them next Spring to see if the have stayed true to type.

Was It Worth The Effort?

After each experiment, I always evaluate whether it was worth the effort or not. I have to say an emphatic YES, not only did the plants produce edible fruit even at the very end of the season. Not only was that fruit as good, if not better than the original.

But also the germination rate was incredible, and I realised it’s not necessary to dry seed before sowing. Once again all I did in reality, was copy nature, plants drop fruit, and the seeds from that fruit grow. Then go on to reproduce the original plant with the original fruit.

Summary For How To Grow Tomatoes From Tomatoes

Will I Grow Tomatoes From Tomatoes Again?

Definitely yes, this was such a successful experiment that I might add to it next year. How about butter nut squash? Or chillies, or anything that has plenty of seeds in. Especially if all these lockdowns lead to a seed shortage.

I hope you have found this post informative, and above all, interesting. If you have, or if you have experimented with growing from store bought, let me know in the comments below.

8 comments on “How To grow Tomatoes From Tomatoes

  1. Jaz

    Non ripened tomatoes put in box with apples cover with news paper so the chemical emissions further apples ripen the tomatoes, ripen inside a garage will do, check regularly and remove any that go bad, eat the ones that go red 🙂

  2. Sandra Edwards

    I’m going to try this, and also strawberries and raspberries. I tried peppers last year and, although they grew large plants, I got no fruit from them (flowers but no fruit).

    1. Steve Jones Post author

      I need to start mine earlier in the season this year. Good luck with yours, with the peppers did you try to hand pollinate the flowers?

      All the best

      1. Sandra Edwards

        Yes, I tried that, also putting them out when it was warm so the insects and breeze could do the job, but no luck

  3. Mari Leeks

    I’ve just found out about “one square foot” gardening as a result of which I discovered your great website and inspirational story.

    I’m definitely going to try growing tomatoes from tomatoes with, and for, my little grandson. It’ll help him learn where food comes from.

    I’ve just planted a sprouting “lockdown potato” and I’ve got 4 avocado seeds from when he visited, so they’re going into the soil as well!

    Best regards,

    1. Steve Jones Post author

      Hi Mari,
      Thanks for your visit, I am sorry for my late reply,I’ve just got out of hospital so no growing for me this year.
      I hope all of your plants are doing well, your grandson is lucky to have you to teach him how to grow.
      All the best


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