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  #1  
Old 07/18/12, 08:15 AM
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Tomato from cuttings

Anyone ever done this with a favorite Tomato plant? I bought a few romas from lowes this year and one is 3 times the size of the others and the fruits are twice as big as I am getting off of the others. It is a hybrid so I cant save seed from it but though I could take cuttings and over the winter make as many as I will need for next year and just grow out that one type of roma.
How long could you keep a plant like that going? Years? I have to bring it in in the winter, would it do ok in a south facing window or do I need a light?

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  #2  
Old 07/18/12, 08:38 AM
 
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Theoretically, forever, assuming you don't screw up somewhere. You can take cuttings just before your first expected frost and let them root in water. In two-three weeks the cutting will have produced enough roots to pot in soil.

Your potted cutting will be long and gangly overwintering without much light. You can bring them outside to harden off on warmer winter days so they can get some full sunlight.

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  #3  
Old 07/18/12, 09:31 AM
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Yep... I do this every year. (for the most part)
It will either need a light, or you will have to be very vigilant in your care of the cuttings.

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  #4  
Old 07/18/12, 09:47 AM
 
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Where do you take cuttings from? The branches? How long or how much of the cutting should there be?

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  #5  
Old 07/18/12, 11:12 AM
 
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Find a nice "sucker" about 4-6" long. Cut off with razor. Stick in wet sterile media. Place in "bright" shade. Move into partial sun after about a week. Increase sun after a couple days. If wilts up back up in the sun exposure. (or water)

Once you have your stringy plant inside you can prune it back leaving a lateral as a new leader. Plenty of work in a far N climate.

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  #6  
Old 07/18/12, 11:17 AM
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We grow a 'mother' plant over the winter and take cuttings from it to root out for spring. Beats the heck out of starting seeds.
Though I still start seeds if I want to try a new variety.

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  #7  
Old 07/18/12, 03:04 PM
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Dumb question: Can this be done with a pepper plant?

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  #8  
Old 07/18/12, 03:13 PM
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How big does your mother plant get Chickenista? How many cuttings can you take off of her by spring?

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  #9  
Old 07/18/12, 03:52 PM
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Sigh.. they can get impressively large. I try to keep good light on them so they don't feel the need to stretch out.
And you can get a whole bunch.. especially if you are going to completely cannibalize the mothers.
You can just keep cutting down the length of the vine and as long as you have a set of leaves on the part you are rooting, you can take the mothers all the way to the ground.
Or you can take one set of cuttings and let them grown and them cut them in half or take more cuttings from them etc...
Tomatoes are VERY forgiving and easy to root...

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  #10  
Old 07/18/12, 04:43 PM
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this year I took off some early suckers from the ones outside and I stuck em in the ground, they are doing just fine with only a tad extra water then the parents (we are in a drought after all) to get them going.

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  #11  
Old 07/18/12, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven12 View Post
Dumb question: Can this be done with a pepper plant?
Yes it can. As I understand it, "cloned" pepper plants are more likely to survive than potted up seeds. I rarely have a tomato seed that doesn't germinate, but my germination rate for peppers is horrible.

I found a link for you, too.
How to Clone Pepper Plants | Garden Guides
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  #12  
Old 07/18/12, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Raven12 View Post
Dumb question: Can this be done with a pepper plant?
I remember reading somewhere that peppers are actually perrenials and that given the right conditions don't die. They even showed a pepper "bush" that was several years old.
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  #13  
Old 07/18/12, 10:48 PM
 
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Pepper plants grown in a pot or warmer climate can and do grow year round.

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Old 07/18/12, 11:03 PM
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Thanks.

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  #15  
Old 07/20/12, 09:10 PM
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I usually take my tomato cuttings, pot them up and move them to the shade to root. This year, right at the beginning of the drought, I was pruning some suckers off of the tomato plants and decided to just stick them right into the row. I wasn't too worried about losing any.

We had nothing but heat from then on. Those little guys flopped over for several days at high noon and bounced right back every evening with a good watering. Every single one of them are now several feet tall covered with tomatoes. You can't beat free plants or free food for that matter.

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  #16  
Old 07/24/12, 10:48 AM
 
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I bought a "Patio" tomato at Lowe's last year for the express purpose of trying to clone plants that might produce tomatoes over the winter in our south-facing windows. I took suckers as previously described and stuck them into new potting mix filled cups that had drainage holes drilled into them. I kept those in a clear plastic container to maintain moisture. When they struck roots, I potted them into 2-3 gal pots and used some el cheapo tomato cages to hold them upright when they got leggy. Occasionally I'd shake them to mimic the wind blowing to help pollination and while we didn't have tomatoes every night, the ones we did get beat what was available at the grocery all to pieces. This spring, I started a new batch of suckers to raise outdoors in pots as soon as the weather allowed in hopes they would start producing before the garden tomatoes. I wasn't disappointed.

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  #17  
Old 07/24/12, 01:27 PM
 
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I just learned something new, so let me get this straight, because I want to try it!

So you basically take the suckers from a tomato plant (which I prune all the time but up to now I threw them away), and stick them in a small pot so they can develop roots, and keep inside for the winter and then transplant in the garden the following year? Is that it? How tall does it get during the winter? Just asking so I know how big of pots I should start collecting.

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  #18  
Old 07/25/12, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Ifistav View Post
I just learned something new, so let me get this straight, because I want to try it!

So you basically take the suckers from a tomato plant (which I prune all the time but up to now I threw them away), and stick them in a small pot so they can develop roots, and keep inside for the winter and then transplant in the garden the following year? Is that it? How tall does it get during the winter? Just asking so I know how big of pots I should start collecting.

Ifi
I think the plants will flower and produce tomatos in the winter so you will need to take cuts during the winter to use for spring planting. I dont know if there's a way to keep them from producing fruit in the winter. Maybe keep a light on them?
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  #19  
Old 07/25/12, 12:47 PM
 
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This wont work if you try it using a determinate tho, correct?

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  #20  
Old 07/25/12, 02:32 PM
 
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Quote Ifistav:
"and keep inside for the winter and then transplant in the garden the following year? Is that it? How tall does it get during the winter?"

Even a small tomato like the Patio got pretty leggy, like maybe the height of the cage then flopped over to a total of 4'. By the end of winter, they were far too large to try to transplant outdoors. Starting in late March, I started taking cuttings to root and they stayed small until I moved them outside to a protected spot in late April/early May. Those are still small outdoors, about 15" high as it's bred to produce in a container. I think mine are in 2-3 gal pots.

Lurnin2farm said:
"I think the plants will flower and produce tomatos in the winter so you will need to take cuts during the winter to use for spring planting. I dont know if there's a way to keep them from producing fruit in the winter. Maybe keep a light on them?"


I took my cuttings in late winter/early spring but haven't messed with planting the Patio tomatoes in the open ground, always grew them in a container. I have kept regular tomato varieties alive in the house over winter because I had lost the seed them. Successfully cloned new plants the next spring that I did plant in the open garden. As far as getting them to produce fruit, either shake the plants before the buds open or are just barely open to facilitate pollination. I didn't provide any extra light, just from that south facing window.

akaRach asked:
"This wont work if you try it using a determinate tho, correct?"

Nope, it works just fine with both determinate or indeterminate plant. Both will require some support but the indeterminate will require more.

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  #21  
Old 07/25/12, 03:06 PM
 
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Mogal, so what you do is cut a sucker when the plant is on the ground, plant it to root and let it grow, and then cut from there in the spring to plant outdoors again? Did I get it right?

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  #22  
Old 07/25/12, 03:31 PM
 
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Ifi, you have it right. Really simple process. Have you ever noticed how a tomato vine that contacts the soil will root at that spot? Nature takes care of its own.

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  #23  
Old 07/25/12, 03:32 PM
 
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Explanation about my losing a seed stock. I had 30 really old seed left of a variety and I was too cheap to buy new seed due to shipping costs being more than the seed. Of the first 10 seed I planted, none sprouted. Then I soaked the rest in liquid kelp and put them on milk filters to hopefully sprout. Only 2 did. I coddled those seedlings like I'd never coddled a seedling before and they grew. I saved several tomatoes for seed. Unfortunately, I accidentally pushed the container of seed behind a box and the seed rotted. ARRGH! I still had the two original plants in the garden. I took cuttings and kept 3 over the winter indoors. I was amazed that they bloomed and produced small tomatoes but each contained seed. I was more careful during the fermentation process and had both the plants and about 100 seeds to raise more of that variety. I planted the new seed as well as cloning the plants that spring so I'm good to go on seed quantity until the next time I have a senior moment.

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  #24  
Old 07/26/12, 08:26 AM
 
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Thank you! I'll start the process next weekend!

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  #25  
Old 07/26/12, 08:40 AM
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Thank you! I'll start the process next weekend!

Ifi
Next week is way too early.
I usually don't start mine until right before the first frost.
I go out adn take the best of the best from the very ends of the vines.
I plant indeterminate and the tips are the parts that are still growing strong.
It doesn't take them any time at all to root and they grow.. well.. like tomatoes and get big in no time at all.
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  #26  
Old 07/26/12, 11:33 AM
 
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I am very excited by this idea. But...my house has very little natural light, except in the unheated porches and they freeze (solid) in the Ontario winter. Can the rooted plants stay in dim light, or should they be under grow lights?

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  #27  
Old 07/27/12, 04:28 PM
 
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Chickenista, by now, I usually have some plants in the open garden that are looking not the best, not blooming well, etc., so I rip them out and replace them with cloned versions that do produce produce pretty well outdoors until frost. I've had no reason to do indeterminates except to keep that one variety (where I had limited/no seed) alive long enough to clone it for spring planting. For my winter tomatoes, I only use the Patio tomatoes and I start those any time the oldest ones start to look poorly. For my situation, I don't have room for indeterminate tomatoes in the house. Now if I had a heated greenhouse or sun porch, it would be a different situation--I'd grow indeterminate tomatoes in nice big black pots, tie them to the roof supports and as they grew, lower the oldest parts of the vines to the floor.

Majik, my apologies for not responding yesterday. I got busy then had errands in town until about 2:30. Anyway, if you don't have much natural light, you'll probably need grow lights. Another issue is that you probably don't have the duration of natural light that I do here in MO and that's not a lot considering what tomatoes get outdoors in the summer. After that, cost of the grow lights and expense of running them becomes an issue for me. I have plenty of room in our basement for such but I'm too cheap to run the lights 12, 14 or 16 hrs. a day. Good luck and have fun with your experiments.

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Old 07/27/12, 05:02 PM
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Maybe it is too early but I started cloning. Excluding this freaky year, I have a very limited growing season. I would like to get the plants established. I started with three sucker branches from my strongest determinate tomato cherry plant. Since I read this thread, two have established roots and the third died off. I have started cloning my strongest indeterminate cherry and will move on to a couple peppers. My plan is to keep them small and overwinter under grow lights. Hopefully, it will work.

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  #29  
Old 07/27/12, 07:03 PM
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I always take cuttings and stick them wherever ther is an empty space or an empty pot. I have some right now I need to plant that are well rooted. With luck, they will have harvestable tomatoes in the fall.

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Old 07/27/12, 07:52 PM
 
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Hmmm. After talking about suspending tomatoes from the roof of a greenhouse, I'm thinking about sticking a couple in the hoop house until cold finally gets them. I will need the space later for cold tolerant veggies but no reason they can't grow at the "feet" of a tomato plant as long as it lasts. I have plenty of floating row cover and old blankets to wrap a tomato plant for the cooler nights. Chickenista, you've helped me hatch an idea that might work. "Might" because the hoop house isn't heated.

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