Among the popular crops in home gardening is the tomato — it grows fast, it’s healthy, and it has tons of uses. Tomato lovers often daydream of having their own garden where they can pick fresh tomatoes if they suddenly fancy a Margherita, a salad, or some salsa. It’s not really a far-off dream as it’s so easy to plant your own.
One advantage of growing your own produce is that you get to decide what kinds of fertilizers and pesticides come in contact with your food. Tomato is included in the list of 12 conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest concentrations of pesticides. If you love tomatoes but hate the bad stuff, why not try to grow your own?
But what’s the best way for growing your own tomato plant?
Should you use the seeds from a fresh tomato? Or just buy pre-packaged tomato seeds instead?
How long does it take for the tomato seeds to germinate?
Let’s test it out.
In the first round of tomato versus tomato, we put up a fresh tomato slice against the pre-packaged tomato seeds.
The seeds and the slice were planted on the same day with the same soil quality and adequate lighting. The subjects were watered every 2-3 days in a span of 14 days.
Nothing was visible from the seeds in the first 2 days. The soil was just consistently kept moist.
On the third day, the first sprout emerged from the pre-packaged tomato seeds. The rest followed suit on the fourth day, beating the tomato slice up to day 14.
Interestingly, there were no signs of life from the tomato slice — a perfect knock out.
I definitely think it’s the coating of the seeds from the slice. It will take a while for the tomato slice to completely decompose and the seeds to clear the coating before fully merging with the soil.
We’ll give this round to the pre-packaged tomato seeds. I was really hoping for a good fight.
The set up was the same. But this time, I opened up an overripe tomato. I took out the seeds, gave them a quick bath to remove the coating, and dried them all before planting. The pre-packaged seeds just patiently waited for the second round to begin.
Unlike the previous test where the first sprout emerged on the third day, we can already see some action in the pre-packaged seeds on the second day. In the right conditions (soil moisture, temperature, light, seed depth), we can say that these pre-packaged tomato seeds would sprout within 2 to 3 days.
But the fruit seeds didn’t go down without a fight. Two seeds started to sprout on day number 5, followed by a few more when they reached the first week. This strengthens my presumption that it has something to do with the seed coating. Just a little wash and dry of your tomato seeds can make a huge difference.
This was a fun experiment. Would you rather buy pre-packed tomato seeds or just save the seeds from the tomato fruit?
What else should we put up against? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.