Grow your own tomatoes this summer!

A plastic-free guide to growing your own tomato plant.

This week we thought we would give our community a chance to write about what you are passionate about. Our first submission is from Emma, a history student at Concordia University, who is passionate about art and sustainability. Having wwoofed on farms learning sustainable and organic agriculture, Emma wanted to give you guys some advice on growing your own food.

Shopping for local and organic veggies can be expensive, but growing your own can save you lots! With the warmer weather on its way, now is the perfect time to start planting. Fresh tomatoes are delicious, and really easy to grow yourself. Many germinating processes require plastic wrap, containers and paper towels - so we came up with a plastic-free version.

All you need is:

  • An empty egg carton

  • Some soil

  • A glass bowl

  • A spray bottle

  • A tomato or tomato seeds.

Step one:

Fill your egg carton with soil. I cut my carton to leave 4 spots so it can fit under my bowl.

Step two:

Plant your seeds about a fingernail length below the soil. I buy an organic tomato and use the seeds from that, just chop off a slice with some seeds and bury the whole piece the same as you would a seed packet.

Step three:

Cover lightly with soil, do not pack down! You want the top loose so the seedling can poke through easily.

Step four:

Spray the top with room temperature water until all the soil is well moistened.

Step five:

Place in direct sunlight with the glass bowl flipped overtop, covering the seed. To allow for a bit of air, prop the bowl very slightly. I use a thin cardstock coaster, but some folded paper can work too.

Step six:

Set it by a well-lit window and just let it be in the sun. Keep the soil moist, spraying the top every 1-2 times a day. Allow for condensation to build on the inside of the glass bowl to create a humid environment for the seedling. You should begin to see a sprout within 7-10 days.

Once you have a seedling too big for your egg carton - you can transplant it to a bigger pot with good drainage and no cover. Tomatoes need warmth but the extra humidity is not needed now, just lots of sun. Use room temperature water every morning to water your tomatoes. From seed, it can take anywhere from 60-80 days for a tomato plant to reach its full potential - so seed now and reap your very own, fresh tomatoes come summertime!

Emma Jennings.


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