Monday, June 6, 2011

Rooting tomatoes

I've been a bit late in trying to get my tomatoes properly supported, so they've been growing in all directions.  The unseasonable heat is encouraging growth!

The first order of business was to get in the tomato supports and twine the leader shoot around them (I like to use the curvy poles in the raised beds, although I'm also training some up trellises in the side beds).

In wider beds, I like to use sturdy tomato cages, but in the narrow raised beds that I have here in the mountains, the poles look nicer and don't take up as much space.

But, in pinching back the exuberant axillary shoots, extra branches, etc., I thought I'd propagate an offshoot of one of the Cherokee Purple tomatoes, which was already showing plenty of root primordia on the stem.  As I harvest beets, carrots, and onions, there'll be more space for other things, whether more tomatoes or more shade-tolerant veggies like chard.

I just received a nice e-newsletter from Fine Gardening, a favorite gardening magazine, with an excellent article about pruning tomatoes -- more than I usually manage to do, but informative!

I was delighted to see that my shoot (tucked in a very deep pot) managed to survive a hot afternoon, and perked up by evening.  It'll be ready to plant in a week or two.
lower bed looking towards ravine

Here's a view of the lower raised bed (with the original tomato plant marked).   It doesn't really get enough sun to be very productive for tomatoes, but I've planted several, along with some squashes.  We'll see!

4 comments:

  1. I have two tomato plants in containers on my deck. They are on the deck to get best sun, stay out of the way of critters, be eyeball to eyeball with me if they need water...etc. This heat is really taking a toll on them. Hope we get some 'maters before they succumb to the full summer heat.

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  2. Wonderful, I might try to get some of my tomato off shoots to root. I've never done it before, but it would be so cool if it worked!

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  3. I'm hoping my tomato plants survive this drought and heat until July when I plan to take some suckers and root them as you did for a fall planting. I also don't have quite enough sun for mine but we gardeners always hope, don't we? :-)

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  4. HI LISA! I hope your mountain tomato rooting is a success! I too read the Fine Gardening article on pruning tomatoes and found it to be a great horticultural know-how resource. I forwarded it onto the leader of our master gardener demo vegetable gardens, and she had the same reaction. To a bountiful harvest,
    Andrea
    P.S. Can't wait to see you in Seattle!

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