Another Way to Grow Tomatoes

Another Way to Grow Tomatoes picLast year, I read an article about growing tomatoes from cuttings taken from a mature tomato plant. It so intrigued me, I thought I’d try it. I shared with you a picture of my cutting in one of my November garden updates, and today I’m going to show you the progress.

On November 3, I cut a branch off one of my Black Krim tomato plants (the last one surviving at that date). I cut the branch end at an angle and put it into a bud vase with tap water. Here’s my cutting on that day.

Black Krim tomato cutting

Black Krim tomato cutting

I put the vase in my kitchen window, which receives a great deal of afternoon sun. All I did was continue to add water, changing the water out every week or two.

Within a couple of weeks, the cutting started growing roots. Ideally, I should’ve transplanted it before Christmas, but life happened and I didn’t get around to transplanting it until a couple of days ago.

After 9 weeks in the vase, here’s how the cutting looked.

Black Krim tomato cutting that has grown roots

Black Krim tomato cutting that has grown roots

Here’s a closeup of the roots. The long roots are starting to grow side shoots.

Black Krim tomato cutting roots

Black Krim tomato cutting roots

I chose a medium sized pot to transplant this into because it needs a home only until spring planting time (end of March/beginning of April here). I then created a mixture of half potting soil and half of my own germinating mix (a recipe of Gardener’s Supply Germinating mix, Azomite, and worm castings). I wanted the roots to be able to breathe as they acclimated to being in soil.

I placed the roots all the way down into the pot – even a little sideways – so that the stalk could grow more roots up to the soil line. I made sure the soil was pressed down (but not too much) and watered the pot thoroughly. Then, I took a stake from one of my orchid pots (an orchid not currently flowering), and staked my new tomato plant.

Transplanted Black Krim tomato cutting

Transplanted Black Krim tomato cutting

While staking my new tomato plant, I noticed it has its first tiny flower buds! How about that??

Black Krim tomato cutting with first buds

Black Krim tomato cutting with first buds

My pot is back in my kitchen window to get sun, and I will continue to water it and feed it.

When my seedlings are ready to be hardened off the end of March, I will have to do the same to this plant. After being inside, its leaves are thin and delicate – just like a seedling’s are – and it will have to adjust to the outside world again. Once it’s been hardened off, I can transplant it into my raised bed with the tomato seedlings; and I’ll have a head start on getting ripe tomatoes. (Who knows? I may get a few tomatoes growing before it goes outside. That would be cool!)

As a note, this plant has exactly the same DNA as the plant I took the cutting from, so whatever characteristics the mother plant had – good or bad – will manifest in this new plant. That said, it’s best to take a cutting from a strong, healthy plant.

Stay tuned to my weekly Sanctuary Gardener updates where I’ll keep you posted on how my new tomato clone is doing.

Have you ever grown tomatoes from a plant cutting?



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