How To Grow Cherry Tomatoes From Slices




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Growing cherry tomatoes from slices is not just fun; it’s like a magic trick you can do right in your kitchen and then move to your garden. Imagine turning a slice of tomato from your dinner leftovers into a bunch of juicy, ripe cherry tomatoes. That’s what we’re about to dive into.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or you’ve never touched a plant in your life, this guide is for you. We’re going to take it step by step, with easy instructions and lots of tips to make sure you end up with some delicious cherry tomatoes to enjoy.

Why is this cool? First, it’s super easy. Second, it’s a way to make the most out of something you might just throw away. And third, it’s a fun experiment that gets you closer to nature and maybe even saves you a bit of money.

So, let’s get our hands a little dirty (not too much, promise) and start this gardening adventure together. Ready to grow some cherry tomatoes from slices? Let’s get planting!

Why Grow Cherry Tomatoes from Slices?

Growing cherry tomatoes from slices is like hitting the jackpot for garden lovers. Let’s talk about why this method is so awesome.

First up, it’s super easy. You don’t need to be a gardening guru or have a green thumb. If you can slice a tomato, you can do this. It’s that simple!

It’s sustainable. Instead of throwing away your leftover tomato slices, you’re giving them a new life. This is a fantastic way to reduce waste and be kind to our planet. Plus, it’s a neat trick to show your friends and family.

Cost-effective? Absolutely. No need to buy seeds or young plants from the store. You’ve got everything you need from a single tomato. This method can save you money and trips to the garden center.

It’s incredibly satisfying. There’s something special about watching the seeds from a tomato slice sprout and grow into a full-blown cherry tomato plant. It feels like a small victory in the circle of life, right in your backyard or even on your windowsill.

You get to watch the magic happen. From a tiny slice of tomato buried in soil to sprouting seedlings, and eventually, to harvesting your own cherry tomatoes. It’s a journey that’s both fascinating and rewarding.

In short, growing cherry tomatoes from slices is easy, eco-friendly, economical, and utterly enjoyable. It’s a perfect project for anyone looking to dive into gardening with minimal fuss and maximum fun. Ready to move on to the next step? Let’s go!

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Choosing the Right Tomato

Alright, before we dive into the dirt, let’s talk tomatoes. Not all tomatoes are created equal when it comes to growing them from slices. Here’s how to pick the perfect candidate for your garden project.

Go Organic: This is key. Organic tomatoes are less likely to have been treated with chemicals that could prevent the seeds from germinating. Plus, they’re just better for you and the environment.

Look for Ripe and Healthy: You want a tomato that’s ripe and bursting with life. Look for bright color and firm flesh. Avoid tomatoes that are too soft, bruised, or showing signs of rot. A healthy tomato means healthy seeds. However, if you have a tomato that is already over-ripe – this is the perfect thing to do with it.

Cherry Tomatoes for Cherry Tomatoes: If you want to grow cherry tomatoes, make sure the tomato slice you start with is from a cherry tomato. Different tomato varieties have different traits, so start with the kind you want to end up with.

Heirloom Varieties: These are a great choice because they’ve been passed down for generations and often have more flavor and variety than standard types. Plus, they’ll give you seeds that are true to the parent plant, meaning your new plants will produce similar tasty tomatoes.

Color and Flavor: Think about what color and flavor of cherry tomatoes you enjoy. There are so many kinds – from sweet reds to tangy yellows. Your choice should reflect what you love to eat because, hopefully, you’ll have lots of it!

Remember, the tomato you choose is the beginning of your gardening adventure. Choose wisely, and you’ll set yourself up for a bountiful harvest of cherry tomatoes that are delicious and rewarding.

Got your perfect tomato picked out? Awesome! Let’s slice it up and get it ready for planting.

Top 7 Sweetest Cherry Tomatoes, Backyard Eden,

Preparing Your Tomato Slices

Now that you’ve picked the perfect tomato, it’s time to prepare it for planting. This part is easy and kind of fun. Here’s how to do it right:

Slice Your Tomato: You’ll want to cut your tomato into slices that are about 1/4 inch thick. This thickness is ideal because it’s not too thin and not too thick, just right for the seeds to make contact with the soil and germinate. Use a sharp knife to make clean cuts.

Choose the Best Slices: Not all slices are created equal. Look for slices with a good distribution of seeds. Each slice is like a mini garden, so you want it to have plenty of potential plants.

Also Read:  Top 10 Cherry Tomato varieties to grow in your garden

Handling the Slices: Be gentle. You don’t want to squish the seeds or damage the flesh of the tomato more than necessary. Treat them like the precious future plants they are.

No Need to Remove the Seeds: You might wonder if you need to take the seeds out of the slices. The answer is no. The tomato flesh will provide nutrients to the seeds as they start to grow. Nature knows what it’s doing, so let’s not mess with it too much.

A Quick Note: Some people like to let their tomato slices dry out for a day or two before planting. This can help prevent too much mold growth. However, it’s not strictly necessary. If you’re eager to get started, feel free to skip this step.

Alright, your tomato slices are ready for the soil. You’ve handled them with care, and they’re just bursting with potential. Next up, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of soil and containers, making sure your tomato slices have the perfect home to start growing.

Soil and Container Selection

Great, your tomato slices are prepped and itching to grow! Now, let’s talk about where they’re going to live. The right soil and container can make a big difference in how well your seeds germinate and grow into healthy cherry tomato plants. Here’s the scoop:

Choosing the Right Soil:

  • Go for Quality: You want a good quality potting mix that’s designed for seed starting. This kind of soil is light and fluffy, which helps the roots grow easily and allows good air circulation.
  • Drainage is Key: Make sure your soil doesn’t hold too much water. Soggy soil can rot your tomato slices before they even get a chance to grow.
  • Nutrients Matter: Look for soil that has some compost or organic matter mixed in. This will give your seedlings a nice nutrient boost as they start to grow.

Picking the Perfect Container:

  • Size Matters: Start with a container that’s at least 6 inches deep. This gives enough room for the roots to grow strong. You can use individual pots for each slice or a larger tray if you’re planting multiple slices.
  • Drainage Holes: Whatever container you choose, make sure it has holes in the bottom. Good drainage is super important to prevent water from pooling and causing issues.
  • Material: Plastic, fabric, or biodegradable pots all work well. Just use what you have on hand or can easily get. Recycling containers is also a great option, just make sure to clean them well and poke those drainage holes.

Prepping Your Container:

  • Fill with Soil: Fill your container with the potting mix, leaving about an inch of space at the top. This makes watering easier without spilling soil everywhere.
  • Pre-Moisten the Soil: Before planting your tomato slices, lightly water the soil so it’s moist but not soaking wet. This creates a welcoming environment for the slices.

Location, Location, Location:

  • Once you have your tomato slices in their soil beds, think about where to put them. A warm spot with lots of indirect light is ideal. Think windowsills, under grow lights, or on a warm patio. Just keep them out of direct sunlight for now, as it can be too intense for the little seedlings.

With the right soil and container ready, your tomato slices are just moments away from starting their journey to becoming full-fledged cherry tomato plants. Next up, we’ll cover the planting process—where you’ll finally get to tuck those slices into their cozy soil beds.

Black Cherry Tomato, what is the sweetest tomato

Planting Your Tomato Slices

Alright, it’s planting time! This is where the magic begins. You’ve got your tomato slices and the perfect home for them. Now, let’s get those slices into the soil and on their way to becoming beautiful cherry tomato plants.

How Deep to Plant:

  • Just Right on Top: Place your tomato slices flat on the surface of the soil in your container. You don’t need to bury them deep. The top of the slice should be just covered with a thin layer of soil, about 1/4 inch thick. This helps keep the moisture in and lets the seeds access the air they need to germinate.


  • Give Them Some Room: If you’re planting multiple slices in one container, give each slice about 2 inches of space all around. This gives each seedling room to grow without crowding the others. If they’re too close, they might not grow as well because they’ll be competing for light and nutrients.

After Planting:

  • A Gentle Watering: Once your slices are nestled in with a thin layer of soil on top, give them a gentle watering. Use a spray bottle to mist the soil, or pour water carefully so as not to disturb the seeds. The goal is to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  • Cover to Create Humidity: If you have a clear plastic lid or plastic wrap, you can cover your container. This helps keep the humidity in and creates a mini greenhouse effect, which is great for seed germination. Just make sure to remove the cover once you see sprouts, to prevent mold growth.

Patience is Key:

  • Waiting for Sprouts: It can take anywhere from 5 to 14 days for your tomato seeds to wake up and start sprouting. During this time, keep the soil moist and keep your container in a warm spot with indirect light.

Watching and Wondering:

  • First Signs of Life: The first thing you’ll see is tiny green shoots breaking through the soil. It’s an exciting moment! As they grow, you’ll notice the first leaves, called cotyledons, which might still be attached to a piece of the tomato slice. That’s normal and part of the process.

By following these steps, you’re on your way to growing your cherry tomatoes from just a slice. It’s a simple yet rewarding process that connects you directly with the cycle of life and growth. Up next, we’ll dive into how to care for your emerging seedlings to ensure they grow up strong and healthy.

Also Read:  How To Grow Tomatoes Vertically

Caring for Your Seedlings

After you’ve seen those little green sprouts pop up, it’s time to focus on giving them the best care to grow strong and healthy. Caring for your tomato seedlings involves a few key areas: watering, light, and temperature.

Watering your seedlings just right is crucial. They need enough water to stay moist but not so much that the soil becomes waterlogged. Overwatering can drown the roots and lead to root rot, a common problem for young plants.

Underwatering, on the other hand, can stress them and stunt their growth. A good rule of thumb is to water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Using a spray bottle to gently mist the soil can help you avoid disturbing the delicate roots and stems.

Light plays a huge role in the health of your seedlings. They love lots of bright, indirect sunlight. If you’re growing them indoors, a south-facing window is a great spot. No sunny window? No problem. Grow lights can work wonders and provide consistent light no matter the weather outside. Just make sure not to place the seedlings too close to the light source to avoid scorching them. Around 12 to 16 hours of light per day is ideal for promoting strong, healthy growth.

Temperature is another important factor. Tomato seedlings thrive in warm conditions. Keeping them in a spot that’s consistently between 65°F and 75°F (18°C and 24°C) is ideal. If your home is on the cooler side, you might consider using a heat mat specifically designed for seed starting. This can help maintain the optimal temperature, especially during those crucial early stages of growth.

As your seedlings start to grow, you’ll notice them developing real leaves, which are different from the first leaves (cotyledons) that appeared. This is a sign that they’re getting ready to be transplanted into their pots or your garden.

But before we get to that, remember, the key to strong and healthy plants lies in consistent care. Keep an eye on their water, light, and temperature needs, and you’ll be setting them up for success.

Transplanting Seedlings

Once your cherry tomato seedlings have grown their true leaves, which are the second set of leaves after the initial sprouts, it’s a sign they’re strong enough to handle a new home. Transplanting them into their own space gives them room to grow roots and access the nutrients they need to flourish. Let’s walk through how to transplant your seedlings safely.

The first step is to prepare the new home for your seedlings. If you’re moving them into a garden, make sure the spot gets plenty of sunlight—at least 6 to 8 hours a day—and has soil that drains well. For those continuing their journey indoors or on a balcony, get larger pots filled with a quality potting mix.

Before you transplant, water your seedlings in their current container. This helps make the soil stick together, making it easier to move the whole root ball without damaging it. Gently ease the seedling out of its current container, being careful not to tug on the stem or leaves. If they’re in a tray, you might use a spoon or a small tool to lift them out.

Make a hole in the new pot or garden space that’s big enough to comfortably fit the seedling’s root ball. Place the seedling in the hole and gently cover the roots with soil, pressing lightly to eliminate air pockets. The soil should come up to the base of the first leaves but not cover the stem.

After transplanting, give them a good watering to help settle the soil around the roots and reduce transplant shock. Watering also helps the plants recover and adjust to their new environment. Keep the soil moist but not soggy as your seedlings acclimate and start to grow stronger in their new homes.

It’s normal for seedlings to experience a bit of shock after transplanting, so they might look a bit wilted or sad at first. Don’t worry too much; they usually bounce back within a few days with proper care. Just make sure they have enough water and are protected from too much direct sunlight in their first few days after moving.

Transplanting is a critical step in your cherry tomato plant’s journey. It sets the stage for the next phase of growth, where your plants will start to develop more leaves, stronger stems, and eventually, flower and produce fruit. With your seedlings safely transplanted, you can look forward to the days when you’ll be harvesting your own home-grown cherry tomatoes.

How to Care for Your Cherry Tomato Plants

After transplanting, your cherry tomato plants are on their way to producing delicious tomatoes. But their journey isn’t over yet! Ongoing care is crucial for healthy plants and a bountiful harvest. Here’s how to keep them happy:

Watering Wisely

  • Cherry tomatoes need consistent moisture to thrive. Aim to water them deeply and regularly, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. This encourages strong root development.
  • In the heat of summer, you may need to water daily, especially if your plants are in containers.
  • Avoid wetting the leaves to reduce the risk of disease. Watering in the morning is best.

Feeding Your Plants

  • Tomatoes are hungry plants and benefit from regular feeding. Start with a balanced, all-purpose organic fertilizer when you transplant them.
  • Once they start flowering and setting fruit, switch to a tomato-specific fertilizer high in potassium to support fruit development.

Supporting Your Plants

  • Cherry tomato plants can get quite tall and will need support to keep them off the ground. Use stakes, cages, or trellises to support them as they grow.
  • Tie the stems gently to the supports with soft ties, making sure not to damage the plant.

Pruning for Health and Productivity

  • Pruning isn’t strictly necessary for cherry tomatoes, but it can help improve air circulation and sunlight exposure, reducing disease risks.
  • Remove any leaves touching the ground and any that look sick or diseased.
  • Some gardeners also like to remove the suckers (the shoots that grow in the axils of the leaves) to encourage more fruit production, but this is optional for cherry tomatoes.
Also Read:  How Much Soil Does a Tomato Plant Need? (Answered)

Monitoring for Pests and Diseases

  • Keep an eye out for common tomato pests like aphids, whiteflies, and tomato hornworms. Remove pests by hand or use organic pest control methods.
  • Diseases such as blight or leaf spot can be minimized by watering at the base of the plant, providing adequate spacing for air circulation, and practicing crop rotation.


  • Apply a layer of organic mulch around your plants. This helps retain moisture, keeps the soil temperature stable, and reduces weed competition.
  • Straw, shredded leaves, or grass clippings are excellent choices for mulching tomato plants.

By following these care tips, your cherry tomato plants will have the best chance to produce an abundant harvest. Watching your plants grow and eventually picking fresh tomatoes right off the vine is one of gardening’s greatest pleasures. Keep up the good work, and soon you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labor—literally!

Harvesting Your Cherry Tomatoes

The moment you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived—harvest time! There’s nothing quite like the taste of cherry tomatoes picked fresh from your garden. Here’s how to know when they’re ready and how to harvest them:

Knowing When They’re Ready

  • Cherry tomatoes let you know they’re ready to be picked when they’re brightly colored, firm, and full-sized. Depending on the variety, they could be red, yellow, purple, or even striped.
  • Give them a gentle squeeze. They should feel firm but give a little under pressure.
  • Taste test! Sometimes the best way to know if your cherry tomatoes are ready is to pick one and give it a try. They should be sweet and full of flavor.

How to Harvest

  • Use a gentle touch. Cherry tomatoes can be pulled from the vine with a slight twist. If they resist, use garden shears or scissors to cut the stem close to the fruit to avoid damaging the plant and the tomato.
  • Harvest regularly. Picking the ripe tomatoes encourages the plant to produce more fruit. Check your plants every day or two, especially as the season reaches its peak.

After Harvesting

  • Enjoy your cherry tomatoes fresh, in salads, or as a healthy snack. They’re also delicious roasted or added to cooked dishes.
  • If you find yourself with a bumper crop, consider sharing with friends, freezing, or even learning how to can or dry them for future use.

End of Season Care

  • As the growing season comes to an end, you might find some tomatoes still on the vine that haven’t ripened. You can pick these green tomatoes and place them in a paper bag with a banana to ripen off the vine.
  • Clean up your garden beds or containers after the last harvest. Remove and compost any healthy plant material, and dispose of any diseased or pest-infested plants to prevent problems next year.

Harvesting your cherry tomatoes is a rewarding experience that marks the culmination of all your hard work. It’s a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, reflect on the growing season, and start dreaming about next year’s garden. Congratulations on your successful harvest!


Can I Use Any Type of Tomato Slice to Grow Cherry Tomatoes?

It’s best to select slices from organic cherry tomatoes to ensure the seeds are viable and true to the desired variety. Using slices from the exact type of cherry tomato you wish to grow is key for the best outcomes.

How Long Does It Take for Tomato Slices to Germinate?

Under optimal conditions, tomato slices usually start germinating within 5 to 14 days. Keeping the soil moist and in a warm spot encourages the seeds to sprout.

Do I Need to Dry the Tomato Slices Before Planting?

You don’t need to dry the tomato slices before planting them. The moisture in the tomato helps with seed germination, though some prefer to let them dry slightly to minimize mold risk.

Can I Plant Tomato Slices Directly in the Garden?

Starting tomato slices in containers offers better control over their environment during germination. Once the seedlings have grown strong, they can be moved to their permanent garden spot.

How Much Sunlight Do My Tomato Plants Need?

Tomato plants need about 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. For indoor growth, a south-facing window or adequate grow lights can supply the necessary light.

What Should I Do If My Seedlings Aren’t Growing?

Check that your seedlings have sufficient light, water, and warmth. Non-growth could be due to the age of the seeds or suboptimal growing conditions. Adjust their care as needed.

When Is the Best Time to Transplant Seedlings Outdoors?

Transplant outdoors after the last frost, when night temperatures stay above 50°F (10°C). Gradually acclimating seedlings to outdoor conditions over a week helps them adjust better.

How Often Should I Water My Cherry Tomato Plants?

Water deeply when the top inch of soil dries out. The frequency depends on the weather, but expect to water more during hot, dry spells.

What’s the Best Fertilizer for Cherry Tomatoes?

Begin with a balanced, all-purpose organic fertilizer, then switch to a potassium-rich tomato-specific fertilizer when flowers appear. Follow the product’s instructions for application.

How Can I Protect My Cherry Tomatoes from Pests?

Monitor for pests and manage them with physical removal, organic sprays, or biological controls. Maintaining garden cleanliness and rotating crops annually can also prevent pest issues.


Embarking on the journey of growing cherry tomatoes from slices is more than just a gardening project; it’s an adventure into the wonders of nature and self-sufficiency. From selecting the perfect tomato to watching the first sprouts emerge and eventually enjoying the fruits of your labor, each step is filled with anticipation and learning.

This guide has walked you through every phase of the process, demystifying what might have seemed like a complex task into simple, enjoyable steps. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a curious newcomer, the satisfaction of growing cherry tomatoes from slices is unmatched.

Remember, gardening is not just about the harvest; it’s about the growth along the way—both of the plants and of the gardener. Mistakes might happen, and not every tomato slice might sprout, but each attempt is a step closer to a greener thumb and a more fruitful garden.

So, take these tips, nurture your plants, and most importantly, enjoy the process. The taste of a cherry tomato, grown from a simple slice by your own hands, is a sweet reward that goes beyond flavor—it’s a taste of accomplishment.

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Hi, I’m John.

John grew up on a farm where his family raised chickens, goats, rabbits, and grew a huge garden. John has a family of his own and gardens to know where his food comes from. Learn more..