Centuries ago, one of the greatest and most versatile fruits was discovered in Peru. We’d be surprised if you guessed it on the first try, but if you thought tomatoes, you’re right!

With Spring around the corner and future produce waiting to be planted, gardeners everywhere are starting to cross seeds off their shopping lists. You can bet at least one type of seed will be on everyone’s list and that’s tomato seeds (or plants)

And rightly so! Tomatoes are one of the tastiest foods to eat at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Not to mention all their health benefits.

Here Are 5 Health Benefits of Tomatoes You Probably Didn’t Know

tomato garden

Eating tomatoes on a regular basis can:[1-4]

  1. Reduce risk of heart disease and cancer thanks to its antioxidant lycopene
  2. Boost the immune system thanks to vitamin C
  3. Control blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular disease because of potassium
  4. Strengthen your bones and improve blood flow thanks to vitamin K1
  5. Maintain healthy tissue growth and cell function because of folate

If that doesn’t make you crave a delicious plump tomato, we know one thing that will – a homegrown one. Nothing compares to biting into homegrown tomatoes (and any fruit or vegetable for that matter)! Compared to store-bought produce, the bright and bursting flavors are unmatched.

Don’t’ believe us? Try growing some yourself. It’s way easier than you think and we show you exactly how below.

How to Grow Tomatoes at Home So You Never Have to Buy Them Again

Many people think there are only two ways to start growing tomatoes. You can either purchase seeds and start growing them into seedlings before Spring comes, or simply purchase start plants which can go directly into the ground if conditions are right.

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However, there’s a real easy way to start home-growing tomatoes you’ll wish you knew earlier! Ready to learn how to grow tomatoes?

5 Steps to Growing Your Own Tomatoes at Home

Prep Your Planting Container for Seed Germination

  1. Prepare your potting mix (50% garden soil, 30% organic compost, 20% find sand)
    1. Mix 3 ingredients together until all darkish brown
  2. In a large but shallow container (with a few small holes for drainage), fill it halfway with potting mix
    1. Before pouring the potting mix, make sure to cover the drainage holes with small stones or gravel

Slice Your Ripe Tomatoes

  1. Get a few tomatoes from your kitchen and make sure they’re fully ripened
  2. Cut them into ¼” thick slices
    1. Don’t worry, they don’t need to be master chef-perfect slices

Plant Your Tomato Slices

  1. In your planting container, lay the tomato slices evenly around
  2. Cover them with about 1” of leftover potting mix and water well
    1. Don’t bury them too deeply
    2. You want the soil moist, not oversaturated
  3. Do your best to keep the container in partial shade

Transplant Your Tomato Seedlings

  1. After 2 weeks, when your tomato seeds should germinate, move the plant somewhere it can receive full sun for 10-12 hours a day
    1. Doing this will help the seedling becoming stronger
  2. Two weeks after that, the tomato seedlings will be ready to transplant into individual pots
  3. Bury the seedling’s stem as deep into the potting soil as possible
    1. Tamp the soil down gently around the stem’s base and water well
    2. Remember: moist, not oversaturated

Let Your Tomato Plants Grow

  1. Place the individual pots somewhere they can receive regular, full sunlight
    1. This will ensure the fasted growth
  2. Make sure to maintain the soil’s moisture and to fertilize it (once when transplanted and again when they begin to set fruit)
  3. On average, you can expect your tomato plants to mature within 2-3 months

There You Have It – Now You Know How to Grow Tomatoes at Home!

Sounds easy enough right? Give it a try. We’d love to see and hear about your homegrown success stories. If you want to grow more foods or something other than tomatoes, check out the links below.

[1] Bjarnadottir, A., MS. (n.d.). Tomatoes 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/tomatoes#section3

[2] DElia, L., Barba, G., Cappuccio, F. P., & Strazzullo, P. (2011, March 08). Potassium intake, stroke, and cardiovascular disease a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21371638

[3] Bolton‐Smith, C., McMurdo, M. E., Paterson, C. R., Mole, P. A., Harvey, J. M., Fenton, S. T., . . . Shearer, M. J. (2007, January 22). Two‐Year Randomized Controlled Trial of Vitamin K1 (Phylloquinone) and Vitamin D3 Plus Calcium on the Bone Health of Older Women. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1359/jbmr.070116/full

[4] Bügel, S. (2003, November). Vitamin K and bone health. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15018483

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