Do you want year-round tomatoes without having to wait for your plant to sprout from seed? Here is an easy way to “clone” your tomato plant and expedite the process.
Cloning is a good option if you want to skip the 6-8 week wait period before tomato seedlings become transplantable. If you, or someone you know has a beautiful tomato plant, all you have to do is snip a stem off to start cloning.
You will need clean, sharp gardening shears or a razor blade. Once you have snipped part of the plant for cloning you will temporarily transplant the cutting into a container. It is important to choose a vessel that is about 4 inches deep. For this, transparent containers work best so you can see whether or not the root system has developed. It is also a good idea to pick up some potting soil and rooting compound.
Cut your plant right where the branches grow off the main stem in a “V” shape, indicating new growth. Using your shears, cut your piece at a 45 degree angle. Try to snip a shoot that does not have any buds on it. Cut a stem that is approximately 8 inches long.
Place your cutting in a glass of water for a couple of hours and then plant it in a container filled with potting soil. Mist with water twice a day. If the soil dries out too easily, retain the moisture by covering the container with a plastic bag. Keep your cutting in indirect sunlight. Within 2 weeks you will be able to transplant your now-rooted cutting. Use a translucent container for this step. If you are worried about your cutting getting too much sunlight, you can place a basket over it.
If you have more time to wait, instead of putting your clone in soil, you can keep it under indirect sunlight in a glass of water. It will be rooted and ready for transplant within 3-4 weeks.
Once your clone has rooted, transfer the contents into a non-translucent container. Do this because the roots are sensitive to sunlight. If the weather is nice enough, transplant your clone directly into a garden bed.
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