In the spring time every knows to plant tomato seeds to make seedlings for the garden. The other way is to buy them already started. Most people don’t know that cuttings can be taken to produce new tomato plants.
Most often times the cuttings are rooted after the plants are in the garden. This makes a fall crop of tomatoes provided the weather cooperates a little. That or you do some work to cover them up at night or in bad weather.
However cuttings can also be taken from seedlings you may purchase after they have acclimated and begin to grow. An even better solution is to grow a few seedlings and use them for cuttings.
Growing seedlings takes about 8 to 10 weeks roughly. A cutting will start rooting in about 4 to 7 days. A cutting will be able to be transplanted in about 10 to 14 days. This is a big difference.
To make plants from cuttings you will need to cut about 6 inch clippings from the donor plant. Remove any leaves from the bottom of the stem.
This is where personal preference may come in. They can be rooted directly in clean water or they can be put in potting soil. Water roots faster many people find, but the roots do not adapt to dirt as readily as one may think. Most people find that directly rooting them in soil is the best approach. You need not use rooting powder for tomato cuttings.
In about 4 days in clear water you should begin to see roots. After a week or so in dirt you should be able to feel resistance to tugging on the cuttings in the potting soil. Be careful not to pull the plant up however.
For rooting in water place a plastic wrap over a bowl or glass and poke holes in the top to hold the cuttings. Push the cuttings into the plastic wrap until the cuttings are submerged about two inches or so.
– Fill 4 inch pot with damp potting soil
-Poke a hole in the dirt for the stem to fit in.
– Take a six inch tip cutting from donor plant.
-Make sure any joints from cut off leaves are buried.
-Keep them moist in a warm shaded spot for a week.
-Get them used to stronger light gradually over a week.
-At this point they can be transplanted into the garden.
These same methods work for many other plants, like bell peppers and basil.