Make more tomato plants by cloning
Plant a cutting to create more tomato plants
Cloned plants reproduce exactly like the Mother plant
It works. Really.
Put that broken tomato plant branch, or cutting directly in the ground at least six or eight inches deep. Place a stake beside the stem. The big tomato stake or cage will stand as guardian over your little cloned tomato plant. Since this new plant has no roots yet, you MUST keep the soil well watered. At first, the cutting or broken branch that you stuck in the ground, will go limp. Don't give up. Keep watering the planted stem at least two or three times a day. Some shading of the cutting will reduce the stress as the new tomato plant starts making roots.
Do not fertilize. No need for rooting compound. Use only water and kind words. If you have garden fairies, summon them now.
Disaster strikes! How to save the broken tomato plant
Midseason gardening techniques to stretch the growing season
Did you break a branch of a heavily producing tomato pant?
Remove all tomatoes and all but the top leaves. Plant the tomato branch as deeply as possible into the ground where you want to tomato plant to grow. Water it faithfully two or three times a day. Remember, it has no roots. You must provide lots of water while it grows roots.
Use this method to make more plants and extend the productive gardening season.
Clone tomatoes now
It is not too late to plant a garden. In fact this may be the perfect time to start seeds and start on a second wave of heat loving vegetables and plant seeds to take advantage of the second cool season crops this year.
To extend the tomato season, consider cloning the tomato plants that are the most successful in your garden.
Here in the heartland, zone 6 we are about halfway through the summer growing season. I think I have about two and a half months left before our first frost.
If you haven't planted tomatoes yet, ask a gardening friend for a cutting. As I stake my tomatoes, I often break off unruly stems that won't be supported by the tomato stakes.
The good news
Cloning plants will get you tomatoes faster than starting from seed at mid season. Planting tomatoes midseason will also stretch the harvest season.
I broke off a branch of an heirloom tomato plant about a month ago. The black tomato plant is named Purple Calabash and I am happy to have more of these large, rich tasty tomatoes.
Starting warm season plants midsummer, means that fruits will be developing during the cooler, end of summer weather. Be prepared to cover or protect the heat loving plants during light nighttime frosts.
Making more strawberries from runners is a snap. Just place the runner in the soil where you would like another plant. Keep watered.
The best thing for the garden
Tell me about your successes
Gardeners are all so helpful. Please share your tomato growing tips here, in comments.
Got any water wise ideas for the garden? Please leave a comment.
I love hanging baskets. Half of the tomatoes I grow are in containers. It used to be a pain in the neck (and back) to water over head baskets plus a dozen containers.
I fought putting in an irrigation system because it is time consuming and costly. But let's rethink those 2 reasons.
1. time consuming. Not really, it takes time to plan connections and the layout for the garden or patio. If it takes a day to figure it out and put on an automatic timer, give it a try. It's a one time project. Otherwise, you will spend everyday all summer long watering hanging baskets and containers. No time off or vacation for you.
2. costly. Not so, you won't waste water in the broad coverage of a sprinkler or sprayer. Buy it once, use it for years. Once you have the layout and timing adjusted that first year, a repeat performance is a snap next year.
AND a bonus: The thrill of cold water running down your arms while you water overhead baskets once or twice every single day during August. If you really miss this chiller, feel free to re-enact the clammy armpit experience in the privacy of your own home shower.
Probably, your plants and neighbors will appreciate the reduction in foul language once you stop dragging the hose around the garden and watering over head.