For years, I have been taking suckers from my tomato plants around the 1st of July, and rooting them for a fall crop of tomatoes. I've been taking suckers from low on the plant that already have root nodes starting to show and placing them in a bucket of water in a shaded spot for a couple of weeks. I change out the water if it starts getting green. Once I get roots an inch long or so, I transplant. I keep all the blossoms pinched off until the end of august. I grow these plants on low supports and let them sprawl over the black plastic. It makes the plants easy to cover-up for late fall frosts. I often am picking my last tomato harvest right around Thanksgiving.
I've noticed that determinates and semi-determinates are very difficult to get rooted this way. I've also found that bucket rooting works best if the temps are not too hot. Does anyone else use this technique? Do you have any other tips to make it more successful?
This year, I am going to try to clone some plants using a rooting gel. Has anyone used this method? My plan is to use trays filled with wet vermiculite, and keep the seedlings well misted under some sort of plastic dome to keep the humidity high. Will this technique work on determinates and semi-determinates? Is there anything else I need to know?