Tomatoes are a versatile food that you can use in a myriad of dishes from soups to pasta, salsas, and chilis. If you eat a lot of tomatoes, your grocery bill (and taste buds) might benefit from opting to grow your own right in your own backyard.
Planting a tomato plant may be the most traditional way to start your crop, but it’s not the only way. Check out these 4 ways you can have your own endless supply of your favorite fruit:
1. Bury tomato slices
You read that right. This method, courtesy of The Wannabe Homesteader, is cheap and easy. All you need is some potting soil, an overripe tomato, and a few pots.
Fill a large pot most of the way full with potting soil. Then add a few tomato slices (about 1/4 inch thick) on top. Make sure the slices you choose have plenty of seeds and cover them with just enough soil to bury them. Wait a week or two for them to sprout.
After about a week, your tomato seeds will start to sprout. You may get as many as 60 seedling sprouts in one pot! Look for about four or five of the biggest (strongest sprouts). Remove those sprouts and replant them in another pot.
Watch the new plants for a few weeks. You’ll likely notice that one or two of the plants seem to be growing bigger and stronger. Remove the other two plants to give your stronger plants more room to grow.
2. Plant them in the ground
If you have a lot of yard space with plenty of sunlight, simply burying your tomato plant in the ground, instead of a pot, can produce a much higher yield. An added benefit of this method is that it requires less watering, according to Bonnie Plants. If you opt to go this route, just remember that deer and rabbits really love noshing on these types of gardens, so you’ll need to keep your plants safe.
3. Grow them in Window Box
If you live in a small space or just don’t have a large yard, you can still grow tomato plants by planting them in a window box. You’ll need to choose larger window boxes that can hold at least 1.5 gallons of dirt. You can use string trellis drilled into the wall to stabilize the plant. Choose smaller tomato types for this method.
4. Grow them in a Hanging Basket
Worried about dangling a heavy box over your windowsill? Try a hanging basket on the porch instead. The downside to this method is that this plant needs more water than normal container planting because the water drains faster. Try a cascading cherry tomato for this type of planting to get best results, according to DIY Network.
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