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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old April 3, 2018   #1
pmcgrady
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Default Cloning?

I've been hanging around here a few years, but I haven't seen much about cloning... Nobody talks about it, is it taboo?
I'm learning out of necessity this year...planted too early (even though it was later than last year), Mother Nature threw a curve ball and I have 18" to 24" plants that were ready to go outside weeks ago... It snowed almost 3" a couple days ago, it was 71 degrees around 1 this afternoon and its in the 30s at 8pm.
I topped a lot of plants lately, and have culled more than ever... I stuck the tops in some Happy Frog potting soil (I'm trying out) and 95% of them look really good, and the mother plants aren't looking bad either!
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Old April 4, 2018   #2
Worth1
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I prefer to call it propagating by way of cuttings.

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Old April 4, 2018   #3
rxkeith
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not taboo at all, and a good way to propagate a variety when starting with just a few seeds. a few winters ago, when i had a challenging tomato year, i had one alston everlasting cherry tomato plant left, no ripe tomatoes, mice got the green ones. i took some cuttings, brought them indoors, rooted them, and kept them alive through out our 6 month winter. i had to continue making new cuttings to keep size of the plant down; its a cherry tomato remember. summer came, and third generation cuttings were planted outside, and alston everlasting continues on to this day.

normally i don't take cuttings due to my short growing season. they just wouldn't produce much ripe fruit. come end of season, and i find myself with no ripe tomatoes, i would take cuttings again to winter over. i am growing a few varieties from shawn/carolyns seed offer. with no back up seeds, those would be the plants i would take cuttings from.



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Old April 4, 2018   #4
GrowingCoastal
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In the '70's there was a grower in Seattle who 'cloned' gloxinias. He did that using plant cells, not a cutting. I have often wondered why people call cuttings clones.
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Old April 4, 2018   #5
Cole_Robbie
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Some greenhouse varieties are around $1 per seed. Cloning would certainly make sense in that circumstance. I don't believe there are any patented tomatoes, either, unlike many other fruits and flowers.
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Old April 4, 2018   #6
nbardo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowingCoastal View Post
In the '70's there was a grower in Seattle who 'cloned' gloxinias. He did that using plant cells, not a cutting. I have often wondered why people call cuttings clones.


I think its to do with the fact that they are genetically identical to the parent plant. Clone describes that genetic sameness to the layman without further explanation.


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Old April 4, 2018   #7
carolyn137
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I can't believe it. I had almost finished a very long post about cloning and lost it but I think I already was about to post this one since it was already in my fingers, so to speak.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&....0.HO5_sAty6Uo

I will say that when cloning it's best not to put a stem,or whatever in water since that new cloned whatever has to then adapt to actual conditions,meaning in touch with a solid surface such as soil,which I call dirt,or stuff grown in containers, etc.

I already saved two other links as well which explained what the definition of cloning means and why it can be done.

Carolyn,I guess who will be back somtime to try and recapture what she originally wrote,which included critter damage, two kinds of cutworms, and more.
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Old April 4, 2018   #8
sirtanon
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I actually have quite a few 'clone' cuttings in water on my kitchen counter as we speak.

I brought in a few tomatoes to share with a coworker last week, and he liked them so much he actually kept a few on his desk instead of eating them. When I asked him why, he said that he was saving them so he could take them home and get some seed so he could grow some himself.

Since we're in Phoenix, and it's already hitting 90 during the day, I told him starting from seed would take way too long and that they would die from the summer heat long before he got anything. Then I told him I could take cuttings from my current plants, since they're starting to get overgrown and need to be trimmed back anyways.

So, I cut off a bunch of suckers and topped a few stems to share. The way they're going, these plants won't even miss what I've removed.


.. also, a couple months ago, I found one of my plants snapped off about a foot from the ground.. I suspect one of my cats jumped off the wall and hit it. Anyways, it had quite a few growing tips on it, so I trimmed them all back to about 5" and stuck them in water. Didn't expect much, but they all rooted very fast and survived being moved to potting mix. The original plant put out a ton of new growth, so I ended up sharing these new clones with neighbors.
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Old April 4, 2018   #9
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all the tomato plants that were still alive in my garden last sept. I cloned for this year.
Just did some trimming on them now.
I had over 25 varieties last year but blight and pestilence wiped most out by early September.
Oddly enough the heirloom varieties survived and all the hybrids croaked.
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Old April 4, 2018   #10
carolyn137
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I guess I won't bother to come back and try to recreate what I had originally almost posted, since if so many of you are water advocates,you know what's best for you.

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Old April 4, 2018   #11
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I guess I won't bother to come back and try to recreate what I had originally almost posted, since if so many of you are water advocates,you know what's best for you.

Carolyn
Not me and you know that.
Please come back and tell folks what ever it is you want to tell them we love your input.
You are the expert.
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Old April 4, 2018   #12
slugworth
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I use a juicy mix of water and potting soil in a 16oz cup no drainage.
The mix has to be kept warm (70-75 degrees F) or the cuttings just rot.I use cups you can see into and once I see roots I put them in containers with proper drainage.
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Old April 4, 2018   #13
sirtanon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I guess I won't bother to come back and try to recreate what I had originally almost posted, since if so many of you are water advocates,you know what's best for you.

Carolyn
I hope you don't take what I said as disagreement to what you said about cloning them in a growing medium. I understand the benefit of starting them out that way instead of in water, and I always appreciate your wisdom and knowledge.

Heck, you have been very influential in my tomato growing since I reached adulthood.

However, here in phoenix, where it is typically very dry and frequently hot (today hit 92 degrees F), I have found that cuttings/clones of tomato plants tend to have a better chance of survival if I start them in water. It can be tricky to keep plants in a growing medium moist enough here.. unless I watch them like a hawk. It's generally just easier to put them in water with just a smidgen of MG, and then once the roots get about 1" or longer, carefully move them to mix/soil and use a mist sprayer to keep them from drying out for the first 24 hours or so.

It also helps with space management - I can just cut them all, tag them with string and then put them all into one vase/bowl.
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Old April 4, 2018   #14
pmcgrady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I guess I won't bother to come back and try to recreate what I had originally almost posted, since if so many of you are water advocates,you know what's best for you.

Carolyn
I'm trying wet happy frog in cells, so I know what the clones are. Each one with a marker. Throw them all in a jar of water, and have no idea what they are...
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Old April 4, 2018   #15
pmcgrady
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Or have 50 jars of water labeled...
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