If you’re a gardening enthusiast, you know there’s no room for excuses. But what do you do if you want to grow tomatoes and don’t have enough space? Is growing tomatoes in rain gutters possible?
You can grow tomatoes in rain gutters by purchasing some gutters, drilling holes at the bottom, and setting them up on a wall. After that, you must fill the gutters with organically-rich soil and plant your tomato seeds.
Growing tomatoes in rain gutters is a popular trend amongst enthusiasts because they don’t require a lot of space. This article takes you through the process of growing tomatoes in rain gutters and answers your questions on the drying of seeds.
Also Check: Bonnie Plants Tomato Plants
Growing Tomatoes In Rain Gutters
Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables to grow in home gardens, and with good reason. They’re easy to grow and produce abundant fruit; you need them for various daily reasons. Growing tomatoes in rain gutters is an excellent option if you’re looking for a way to maximize production.
Rain gutters are an ideal place to grow tomatoes for several reasons:
- They offer well-drained soil that is perfect for tomato plants.
- The gutters protect the plants from wind and rain damage.
- You can hang them on a wall or fence, which frees up space in your garden.
If you’re interested in growing tomatoes in rain gutters, below are steps to get you started:
Determine The Desired Length
Tomato plants can grow relatively high and wide, so you’ll need to decide how long you want your gutters to be. Six to eight feet is a good length for most gardens. What’s better, you can organize the gutters into numerous shorter sections if that better suits your needs.
Purchase The Rain Gutters
There are two rain gutters; PVC (plastic) and aluminum. You can purchase either of these at most home improvement stores. Be sure to get gutters at least four inches wide, so your plants have enough room to grow.
Cut And Cap The Gutters To Size
It’s likely the gutters you will purchase won’t be the exact length you need. You can either have the store cut them to size or do it yourself with a saw. Be cautious and wear gloves and eye protection when cutting the gutters. Additionally, cut with the determined length in mind.
Drill Holes For Drainage
Once the gutters are the correct size, you’ll need to drill drainage holes. Ensure the holes are not large enough for the water to run out immediately you water the soil. The gutter should hold the water for some time before drying it out.
A good rule of thumb is to drill a hole about half an inch, at least after every 6 inches of the gutter’s length.
Attach The Gutters To A Wall Or Fence
Once they are cut to size and have drainage holes, it’s time to hang them. You can do this using screws and wall anchors. Just be sure to use the appropriate type of screw for the material you attach the gutters to.
Prepare And Add The Soil
The final step is to add the soil. Ensure you mix the soil with fine organic manure before adding it to the gutter. Be sure to fill the gutters to the top, so the roots have plenty of room to grow.
Plant The Seeds And Water
Once you prepare the gutters, it’s time to plant your tomato seeds. Just plant them at the correct depth and water them regularly. However, keep check of the soil moisture as tomatoes wilt when overwatered.
Now that you know how to grow tomatoes in rain gutters, there’s no reason not to give it a try! Not only is it a space-saving solution, but it’s also a great way to maximize your tomato production.
Can You Dry Seeds From Green Tomatoes?
You can dry seeds from green tomatoes by fermenting, air drying, or naturally disposing off them. However, you will need to do it right. Else, the dry seeds won’t germinate.
There are several ways to dry seeds from green tomatoes.
Saving Tomato Seeds By Fermenting
Fermenting is the most popular and easiest way to save tomato seeds. Here are the steps to dry seeds from green tomatoes.
Harvest The Seeds
Cut the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You can also use a food processor, but be careful not to damage the seeds. You should remove the entire gel in the middle of the fruit.
Place The Seeds In A Container
Put the seeds in a jar or bowl. Add enough water to cover the seeds and stir. If the tomato is juicy, there’s no essence in adding the water.
Cover And Let Ferment
Cover the container with a cloth or coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band. Put the container in a warm place, such as on top of the refrigerator. Fermentation will occur at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmer the temperature, the faster the process.
After four days, check on the mixture. The seeds should have sunk to the bottom of the container, and the water should have a cloudy appearance. If the water is still clear, give it a few more days.
Rinse The Seeds
Once the fermentation process is complete, rinse the seeds with clean water. Then spread the seeds on a paper towel and let them air dry. Once they’re dry, store the seeds in a cool, dark place.
You can also dry the seeds in a dehydrator or oven set at the lowest possible temperature.
Saving Tomato Seeds By Air Drying
Air drying is a traditional method and involves very little work. Here’s how to save tomato seeds by air drying:
Harvest The Seeds
Cut the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Another option is to use a food processor. But be careful not to damage the seeds’ core.
Dry The Seeds
Spread the seeds on a paper towel and let them air dry. Once they’re dry, store the seeds in a cool, dark place.
The Natural Way
This method is for those who don’t mind waiting a little longer. Here’s how to save tomato seeds the natural way:
Harvest The Seeds
Cut the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds using a spoon. Otherwise, you can squash the tomato so that the seeds and gel come out.
Place The Seeds On A Plate
Spread the seeds on a plate or bowl and stir them harder so that the gel and the seeds separate.
Burry The Tomatoes
Take the bowl to the garden and dig up a hole. Pour the seeds and gel into the hole, and cover it with soil. Then, water and mark the spot, so you remember where you planted the seeds.
If everything goes well, it will take about two weeks for germination to occur. Visit the spot and check on progress. Once seedlings germinate, transplant them to pots or plant them directly on the garden.
Do Green Tomato Seeds Germinate?
Yes, green tomato seeds germinate, although that depends on what causes the seeds to remain green. They usually sprout within 7-14 days when kept at a temperature of 21-27°C. Lowering or raising the temperature range increases the seed’s dormancy.
But why would tomatoes be green? You can attribute green tomato seeds to several factors.
They Are Not Ripe
If the tomatoes are not ripe, they will have a green tinge. Essentially, seeds contain chlorophyll, the matter that gives plants their green color. When ripening, the tomato ripens from the inside, starting with the seeds. Therefore, the ripening process may be incomplete if the seeds are still green.
Stress may also contribute to the seeds being green. A stressed tomato plant produces chlorophyll as a defense mechanism. So, seeing green seeds in your tomatoes could indicate the plant’s stress during its growth.
In some cases, it may just be the plant’s genes. Some plants have green seeds, such as Moldovan tomatoes. So, it depends on the type of tomato plant that you have.
Additionally, some old tomato varieties produce green seeds when cross-pollinated with other varieties. So, if you see green seeds in your tomatoes, it could also be due to the tomato plant type.
Do Tomatoes Need To Be Ripe To Save Seeds?
Tomatoes don’t need to be ripe to save seeds. However, fully ripe tomatoes produce seeds that have the highest yields. They also make the most disease-resistant seeds with a better chance of survival and germination.
You can use tomatoes that are not quite ripe for saving seeds, but the yield will be lower. Also, they may be less viable and have a lower germination rate. If you’re planning to save tomato seeds, it’s best to use ripe fruits for the highest success rate.
Can You Grow Tomatoes From Green Tomatoes?
You can grow tomatoes from green tomatoes by harvesting and replanting the seeds. These green Moldovan tomatoes germinate like most other tomato varieties. And with some extra care, they can be very productive.
Moldovan tomatoes (green tomatoes) are easy-to-grow fruit that you can grow in almost any tomato-friendly climate. What’s better, they are indeterminate, meaning they will keep producing fruit until the first frost.
So, if you have a green tomato or two sitting on your counter, don’t throw them out. Put them by harvesting their seeds and planting them on a tomato plant, just like I described in the first section of this article!
If you are looking for an easy and affordable way to garden, consider growing tomatoes in your rain gutters. With a bit of preparation, you can have a bounty of fresh tomatoes all season long.
What’s more, you don’t have to buy the seeds at all. You can save some of the harvests by drying the seeds. Just follow the above tips for harvesting and drying the seeds properly, and you should have no trouble getting them to germinate come spring.