Quick Guide To Growing Your Own Tomatoes
If your new year's resolution is to live more sustainably, look no further than your own kitchen. Although composting your fruit and veggie scraps is an excellent way to reduce your waste, you can also take an extra step and re-grow some of those scraps! Growing your own veggies and fruits will not only save you money at the grocery store or farmers market, but it will also provide for a new hobby - a gift to yourself that keeps on giving (and is super easy with this quick guide to growing tomatoes)!
Tomatoes are a great fruit to experiment with, and the process of re-growing them is super easy and simple. Starting with cherry tomatoes will allow you to test the greenness of your thumb while staying indoors (winter-friendly!) and only using a small pot.
- Seed Preparation Next time you're snacking on a tomato, reserve a few seeds, rinse them and allow them to dry.
- Pot Preparation Fill the bottom of a seed pot with gravel or stones (enough to cover the drainage holes), and then fill the rest of the pot with rich potting soil. In the interest of recycling, a soda bottle (cut in half and holes poked in the bottom) or any plastic container of a similar size can also be used. Place your seeds into the pot/container, each seed a few inches apart, and cover with soil. Place your pot in a spot that gets 6-8 hours of daily sunlight, like a windowsill. Water the pot enough to keep the soil moist.
- Plant Maintenance Once the seeds have sprouted and the plants have grown a few inches tall, you could transplant them into a larger pot. The plants will need to be kept upright, so using sticks or even leftover chopsticks will be helpful. Also, since your plant is indoors without any natural pollinators around (insects), tap on the flowers to help spread pollen when they bloom. Remember to always keep your soil moist by watering a few times a week.
- Harvesting Pick your tomatoes as soon as they're ripe to promote more. Enjoy your fruit and the amazing benefits that it provides your body, such as vitamin C, potassium, folate, vitamin K, beta-carotene, and lycopene!