Tomatoes - Natural source of Vitamin C - For Free

by Noeleen Hart
(South Africa)

The cheapest way to start a tomato crop is to take an overripe tomato which was on its way to the compost heap and gently squash it between two pieces of newspaper.

Simply place the newspaper under stones to dry out in the sun. After a few days prepare your soil and place the newspaper into the hole prepared and cover it with soil. Water every day or every second day and make sure the soil is kept damp. Once seedlings appear, watch out for the strongest and healthiest specimens, prick them out to replant or simply weed out the unhealthier seedlings and discard them to make space for the plants most likely to thrive.

The beauty of this propagation method is that, if you find a particular variety of tomato you enjoy, you save time trying to source seedlings for this variety. One fruit taken from the packet or a friend's bush is all you need to make sure you have a bumper crop of your own.

It is best to place your trellis or stakes into the ground while the seedlings are still small to prevent damaging the roots of the larger tomato plants later.

Smaller varieties of tomatoes, such as cherry tomatoes propagated in this way, can be grown year round in pots on sunny kitchen windowsills to keep a constant supply of salad tomatoes all year.

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