Unlock the Secret to Successfully Regrowing Store-Bought Tomatoes!

If you have dreams of growing your very own tomatoes, here's what you need to consider before reusing seeds from those you buy at a grocery store.

Unlock the Secret to Successfully Regrowing Store-Bought Tomatoes!
25 Jun 2024, 06:53 PM
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If you've ever purchased a delicious tomato from the supermarket and considered saving some seeds to cultivate your own, you might want to reconsider. While these seeds are likely to sprout into tomato plants and bear fruit, the end result may not be worth the effort. It is probable that the tomatoes produced from these seeds will not have the same flavor as the original tomato you enjoyed.

The Art of Saving Tomato Seeds

Tomato Seeds

Many grocery store tomatoes are hybrids, resulting from the cross between two different tomato varieties. While they may taste great, these plants are genetically unstable, leading to offspring with varying traits. On the other hand, heirloom tomatoes can reliably pass down genes and traits from one generation to the next.

If you're interested in growing tomatoes from grocery store hybrids, go ahead and see what surprises you may get. However, for a higher chance of delicious tomatoes, it's recommended to purchase seeds from top seed companies or save seeds from heirloom tomatoes. Even with heirloom tomatoes, unexpected results can occur if the flowers are not protected during pollination to prevent cross-pollination.

Saving your own tomato seeds, whether from hybrids or heirlooms, is a straightforward process. Instead of planting a slice of tomato with seeds, it's better to extract the seeds from the fruit and soak them in water. After a few days, remove any non-viable seeds and separate the viable seeds from the pulp and liquid. This method helps deactivate germination-inhibiting chemicals in the tomato. If the soil temperature is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you can plant these seeds right away.

Growing your saved seeds

Tomato plant

If all has gone well with seed saving, you should be able to plant and grow your saved seeds just the same as you would tomato seeds from a retailer. To grow juicy tomatoes from seed, plan to start the seeds about two months before your expected last frost date. Tomato seeds need warmth to germinate, so after you have planted your seeds in a moist seed starting mix in a seed starting tray, be sure to put the tray in a warm spot or on a heat mat to encourage germination.

Tomato Planting Guide

After your tomato seeds have sprouted, it's crucial to provide them with ample light to promote growth. Keep the soil moist and consider giving them diluted water-soluble fertilizer every other week. Once the nighttime temperatures stay above 60 degrees Fahrenheit consistently, start acclimating your plants to the outdoors. After a week or two, your tomato plants will be ready for their final planting spot. Ensure they receive plenty of sunlight, are planted in rich, well-draining soil, and receive adequate water and support. With proper care, you'll soon enjoy the fruits of your labor.