There are too large a number of tomato varieties to mention, although I am for now mainly interested in cherry tomato (i.e. small fruit) varieties. Tomato types can roughly be classified by the shape/size of their fruit, and their growing habit.

I bought (on a whim) Season Red cherry tomato seed, which to my dismay I found to be a sterile hybrid variety. It does however have resistance to some diseases. It has a determinate habit, so it should grow up to a fixed size, and most of the fruit should ripen at once. Not really ideal, but should do for my first attempt :)


Tomatoes are hungry plants, and require lots of water and fertile soil. They tend to do well in self-watering containers, since they have constant access to water and nutrients in such a setup. Tomato plants require regular watering, or the fruit may crack or blossom end rot may occur.

Blossom end rot (BER) is the black “rot” that forms on the fruit at the furthest end from the stem, and is caused by a lack of calcium. This may happen either due to a water shortage, which prevents transpiration from transporting calcium to where it’s needed, or a shortage of calcium in the growing medium, or the presence of other salts in too high a concentration that inhibits the uptake of calcium.

A common remedy for BER is to include crushed eggshells in the growing medium, the magic number being around 12 eggshells per plant. Bonemeal can do the same thing. But it is important to do this before planting, since later calcium deficiencies are hard to cure.


Tomatoes are commonly grown from seed, although propagation by cuttings can also work.

Other Tips

It helps to plant seedlings deeper than the were originally, since new roots can form along the stem. It’s OK to bury the lowest leaves even.

Once the plant is going it is also advisable to remove the lowest leaves, since they are most likely to pick up diseases (see above link).

I worried initially since I have not been rinsing the eggshell’s I’m keeping for my tomato plant-to-be but apparently that is not a problem.

Be warned! Most parts of a tomato plant (besides the tomatoes, obviously) are poisonous!


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