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Thread: Tomato/Pepper Growing Tricks? (Cuttings, etc.)

  1. #1
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Question Tomato/Pepper Growing Tricks? (Cuttings, etc.)

    So, I've got several seasons of tomato gardening under my belt but this is the first year that I haven't been limited to containers. I'm also trying peppers and a boatload of others for the first time. I'm looking for tips and tricks for pruning, propagating, etc.
    I know about planting deep to encourage roots, and planting sideways to get roots and extra stalks. Can this technique be extended to turn one lanky start into several compact ones? I'm thinking a section of stalk could be buried in a loose mix until it made offshoots, then cut into pieces and rooted as individuals. Anybody know what the chances are of this working? Annuals always seem so transitive and fragile to me.
    Similarly, a lot of my early starts are already flowering. I'm letting some go to fruit now, but the plants all seem pretty small and I'm pinching most to try and get them bigger. (Most of them are indeterminate and none of them are adult size yet.) If I were to top my taller plants, could I root the cuttings for late summer/fall crop plants? Would this mess up the parent plants? Can I take cuttings mid-summer to grow indoors/in a greenhouse later in the year?
    I had some slug damage shortly after planting, so I've pulled all of the low and/or damaged leaves and stems. I didn't have much of a choice before, but what's the rule of thumb for pruning these guys?
    Thanks,
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Sarracenia Collector Adam's Avatar
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    Don't prune it, just put it up on your job roof if it is flat.

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    billylh's Avatar
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    one thing to look into is that tomatoes can be grown in 24hr light while they're in vegetative growth. could one grow them very large just before spring, then throw them out and have a monster 'mater bush?

    ~b

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    agentrdy's Avatar
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    Tomatoes root ridiculously well. I had a weak transplant from Lowe's blow over in the wind and break at the base. I cut it into about ten pieces, dipped in hormone, and in about 4 days in a humid water bottle with a plastic bag over it they had humongous roots over almost the entire surface that was dipped. Those little hairs on the stem are all capable of sprouting roots easily, more so than other plants. Even stem cuttings without leaves will root, and in fact I got the quickest and strongest results off of the stem itself right before it entered the ground and was sort of a brownish purplish color. Use maybe 3-6 inch pieces and a rooting hormone, and in about a week they'll be ready to handle almost anything if you're careful about not breaking the roots.

    And in my opinion, if you can pinch them and not damage or delay the parent plants as you already are, then cuttings absolutely wouldn't hurt them either.

    Oh, and even the stemless roots of the one that broke off still came back and sent up 2-3 replacement shoots.

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