Skip to content

Tomatoes to the heap

Tomatoes on the compost pile

It’s not the waste it seems! At a distance, they may look whole, but they’re not. Most of this 100lbs (45kg) of tomatoes are well split or explosively squishy and really not worth reclaiming as gallons of sauce. Given the delicate nature of heirlooms, and the pumping up with moisture from the recent rains, split toms are an unfortunate fact of garden life. For this harvest, we got maybe three good ones for every reject. Not bad. Then, we made every attempt to find the unfortunate ones homes, selling off and even giving away big bags towards the end of the market day. At the house, putting up sauce is already ongoing, and there will be at least a couple of hundred pounds more available for canning around frost. There’s just nothing else I can think of to do with these! And so, to the compost heap…



  1. Not worth saving seed from them?

  2. I wouldn’t know what to do with all that seed! In fact, I haven’t started seed saving yet. I’m kinda cautious about cross-pollination, having seen the disturbing mutant results of some crossed hybrid squash from culls tossed on the compost pile (they started to grow, so I let ’em). Regular tomatoes don’t sound all that prone to crossing (cherry tomatoes apparently are), but I grow so many varieties in small numbers close together, I wouldn’t trust ’em. One big garden nightmare of mine is planting out a bunch of crops and varieties and having them not come true all across the field. With tomatoes, a $2.50 packet of most varieties is good for two-three years, since I grow only a dozen or two of each.

    I am saving seeds from a single Garden Peach tomato someone gave me a few weeks ago. It’s a beautiful small bicolor, the one I got was a two-ouncer, golden yellow with a red blush, just like a peach. And it even has a fuzzy skin!

    You seem to be doing great with seed saving, but it sounds like you get crosses too. I’m always behind demand in production, so I wouldn’t want to take the chance until I can set up a proper isolation area and all that! (Can’t wait… :)

  3. Steve Mudge

    Also if you save the seed from the fruits that rot you may be getting future generations that will be more prone to that…

  4. jkehl

    I’ve got a ‘tiny farm’ I started about a year ago and I’ve really enjoyed reading through your blog archives here. One comment on the tomatoes, I’ve got a lot of waste tomatoes at the moment because of our severe drought and bug infestations. I compost quite a few as well, but I feed most of them to my small flock of chickens. They love them!

    I don’t think I’ve seen any mention of livestock in your blog, but if you have any, they’ll happily turn them into fertilizer for you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.