The TRIFFID tomatoes were never going to make it until the plant-out date of Memorial weekend. They were almost 2-feet tall and getting very spindly. So I decided to try something I've never done before: tip rooting. Here you take off the growing tip of the plant and try to root them like a softwood cutting. I took each plant and cut off the top 8-10", cut off about half of the remaining leaves, then I repotted them back into the 16oz cups.
I did this to 30 plants. The only ones that evaded the knife were the 4 Reisentraube grape tomatoes which I simply potted up into gallon containers. They are so robust that I didn't have the heart (or guts!) to risk losing them. Bottom line, what's the worst that can happen if this experiment goes south? I would have to BUY TOMATO plants from a nursery. I guess I could live with that... ;-D
This is just one more thing I've learned about in the Tomato Forum. You can also root tomato suckers this way, too. So if a friend has a type of tomato you covet, ask for a sucker off the plant and root it this way. No need to grow from seed for that season.
Honestly, I can't keep track of all the tips I've learned since joining GardenWeb last year. It's really stretching me as a gardener. Best bonus is that I'm making new friends and sharing experiences with folks with the same trials, tribulations and triumphs. Thanks gang!
Meanwhile, back in the basement plant lab, here is a pic of the 30 truncated toms resting on the warming tray under lights. It's been almost 3 full days since they were repotted and they don't look too bad. The soil temps are about 72F, so should help promote root growth. When they need a little water, I'm thinking I might add some liquid root stimulator I use when installing store-bought shrubs and perennials . Keep your fingers crossed for me!
As for the "2nd string" toms and peppers from the deck? They have graduated into the main hoop house. *sigh* My babies are growing up so fast. *sniffle*
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