Tomatoes From Compost

Plant of seedling tomatoes from a hybrid selection

Plant of seedling tomatoes from a hybrid selection


Fruit of the tomato seedling

Fruit of the tomato seedling


Seedling of a Brandywine tomato

Seedling of a Brandywine tomato

I add a lot of rotten and bird pecked tomatoes to my compost pile each year. Late this spring, I used some of the compost material to mix with soil for some of my potted plants. In early August, I noticed one of the planters had a fine tomato seedling coming up, so I left it to grow (see the image above). And, in another pot I saw a seedling, which I transplanted to a small pot to grow and go in my fall garden (see Brandywine image). Well, in one case I grew seeds from some of the hybrid selections I grew last year, and while they are full of blooms, the tomatoes are going to be tiny little fruits (but they will be tasty). The other seedling I potted is an heirloom Brandywine tomato. The reason I can tell is the potato shaped leaves. As you know, heirloom tomatoes come from true seeds, while hybrids do not. While I am sure we will have seedling tomatoes from the hybrid seeds, I hope the Brandywine has enough time before frost to grace us with a few of their big delicious fruits. So remember, all volunteer tomato seedlings do not produce high quality fruit, but it is fun to grow them and take your chances.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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