Monday, April 28, 2014

Cloning Tomatoes

I want to show you a few pictures of some Tomatoes I have cloned from some of the ones in the greenhouse. To start out I look at the mother plant and find some suckers that have started growing between a leaf branch and the main stalk. I have identified them days earlier and have allowed them to grow to about 4 or 5 inches. Before I remove them from the plant I get the solo cup and punch some holes in the bottom so that it will drain. I then fill it with potting soil to the top. After that I get a pencil and poke a hole into the potting soil. See what I'm getting at? I am now ready to perform surgery on the mother plant. I grab me a pair of scissors and gently cut the suckers off the main plant. Right away I dip the ends into water and then into the bottle of rooting powder. I cover about an inch of the stem, place it into the soil and tamp the soil around it. Once that is done I water the soil until it starts draining out the bottom. It usually takes about a week before the roots start growing from the stems. At first you wonder if it is even working because the plant droops like it is going to die. Then one day you see that it has perked up. I have had much better success with cloning when I use a grow light and a heat mat. I usually keep them in the cup for about 4 weeks and by that time they have rooted nicely and can be transplanted into your garden. Think about it. By doing it this way you don't have to plant seeds and hope they germinate and wait as long to get a sturdy healthy plant. Also knowing the plant that you took it from was part of another healthy plant. You can do this year round.

The picture here shows the plants in red solo cups and the plants in the containers are hot peppers. I grew them from seeds and even tho they are sturdy and healthy they are slow growing. These have been in the containers about 4 weeks already and have a few more to go before I will be ready to transplant. That is if I even do that. i might just move the container to the greenhouse and let them grow there.

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