Do you want Free Tomato plants? Of course you do! It couldn’t be easier! Taking cuttings from your existing Tomato plants is a wonderful way to increase your Tomato crop. With minimal effort and skill required, it’s a simple process that even beginner gardeners can master! So how do you root Tomato cuttings?…
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Extend Your Growing Season
Cuttings will inevitably produce fruit later than your seed sown Tomato plants, which is fine by me! All that means, is my growing season is extended (Cutting Tomato Plants produce well into Autumn in the Greenhouse)…I have no problem waiting for extra Tomatoes!
If you’ve been reading the news of late, Tomatoes have become a rarity in British Supermarkets, there is clearly no better time than now to grow your own!
When To Take Tomato Cuttings
During May and June, tomatoes often need their side shoots snipped off, this helps the plant to direct all its energy into the growth of the main stem. Not only is it a good practice for the health of the plant, but a cost effective way of doubling, tripling, quadrupling your Tomato harvest! Free Tomato Plants = Free Food!
How To Root Tomato Cuttings
- Choose Cuttings that are around 10-20cm in length.
- Remove any lower leaves
- Put the Cuttings in a glass of water and place on a sunny windowsill
- Roots will develop within 1-3 weeks
- The Next step is to ensure those lovely new fresh roots take hold! Plant the cuttings in small pots to allow a strong root system to develop
After a week or two plant them out in their final spot, in the UK that usually means in a Greenhouse environment. If you are reading this from a warmer climate (first of all…lucky you!) and your intention is to plant your cuttings outdoors, be sure to harden off the young plants first.
What Does Hardening Off Mean?
Plants raised indoors or in a greenhouse environment, need to be acclimatised to cooler temperatures and increased air movement for about two to three weeks before they are planted outdoors permanently . This is a ‘toughening up’ practice to prepare the plants for their new environment.
How to Harden Off
Place your plants out for a couple of hours in a shady part of the garden. The next day, leave them out again for two hours, but this time allow the plants an hour of direct sunshine in the morning. Gradually continue to increase the length of time the plants are in direct sunshine over the course of roughly two weeks.
Caring For Your Tomato Plants
Look after Tomato Cutting Plants as you would any Tomato Plant. Keep on Top of the Pruning, watering and treat them to some occasional tomato feed for a healthy Harvest! * Note- Not all Tomato Varieties Require Pruning, see below…
The Different Types Of Tomato Plants
Not all types of tomatoes need to be pruned. If you are growing ‘determinate tomatoes’ you don’t need to prune. Determinate tomatoes are small bush type tomatoes, a smaller compact variety that usually grow to around four to five feet or much smaller. Their fruit generally ripens within a few weeks and often don’t need support of any kind
‘Indeterminate tomatoes’, produce fruit regularly over the course of a season, for these varieties pruning is essential. They have huge vines that need to be supported/staked and maintenance is required for a productive crop. Your aim is… less foliage, more Fruit!
Determinate Tomato Examples (Bush Varieties)
Indeterminate Tomato Examples
Why you should Prune your Tomato Plants
The main reason to prune Tomato plants is so the plant can direct all its energy into creating fruit rather than foliage! I like to remove suckers, yellowed leaves and all lower branches.
Pruning the Tomato plant not only helps with air circulation and disease prevention, but also helps the plant to be become a much more abundant cropper, yielding larger fruits and earlier harvests.