What to Do With Rotten Tomatoes from your Garden

What to Do With Rotten Tomatoes from your Garden

Rotten tomatoes are gross. They’re squishy, wet, nasty looking and sometimes stinky. But believe it or not there are still some things you can do with rotten tomatoes. 

Can I compost rotten tomatoes?

Yes! The fruit that is. (Well, is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? It’s not as easy of an answer as you might think!) I do not compost tomato vines as they don’t tend to break down properly and can really make a mess of your compost pile. But you can absolutely compost the rotten tomatoes fruit.

Be forewarned, however, that rotten tomato seeds can absolutely regrow into new plants and it is possible to have tomato plants growing from your compost bins.

In fact if I have an area that sets over the winter season I find rogue tomato plants growing like crazy. Simply pull them up, transplant them, or just turn them under again in the compost pile.

tomatoes for the garden

Can I use rotten tomatoes to regrow a garden?

Although it’s not a widely talked about method, you can absolutely use tomato fruit – fresh or rotting – to replant and grow new tomato plants the next year. In fact I have learned to clean out my garden thoroughly each year or I grow rouge tomato plants from last year’s rotten tomatoes.

Typically when you have a rotten tomato it’s really only a portion of the tomato that is rotten anyway. Many times you can simply cut away the rotten tomato area and either eat the rest of the good tomato or you can use that tomato to save tomato seeds for your garden the following year. 


How to Prevent Rotten Tomatoes:

If you are an avid tomato gardener it is inevitable that you will come across rotten tomatoes from time to time not matter how experienced you are. Whether pests have snuck into your garden, your tomatoes are struggling after you’ve neglected them, or blight has hit your crop, below are a few tips to help you prevent rotten tomatoes:

  • Trim the bottom several branches off of your plant as it grows.

  • Water only at the base of the plant and not on the leaves to prevent fungus.

  • Trim any dead or diseased branches immediately to discourage further problems.

  • Don’t overwater your tomato plant! (which is admittedly difficult to do)

  Pin these images from I Love Tomatoes!

How to Prevent Rotten Tomatoes How to Prevent Rotten Tomatoes What do do with rotten tomatoes