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TheWaterbug
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Starting all from cuttings now?

So all my tomato plants from 2013 are still alive and kicking, as we didn't really have much of a winter here in Los Angeles. I plan to put my 2014 tomatoes into a different part of my garden, so as to avoid diseases.

Should I just take cuttings from my existing plants, sterilize them gently, and start them in water? It seems like I could get a tremendous headstart vs. seeds or waiting for starts at the garden center. It would also motivate me to get up early every morning and get into the garden, since I'll know there's something waiting for me.

Have other folks done this this early in warm climates?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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gixxerific
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Re: Starting all from cuttings now?

I myself don't do cuttings (successfully that is). But it is sure a good idea. You could get a head start and it sure doesn't hurt to try, just be ready to start seeds just in case. If you try it make sure you let us know how it went or possibly how it is going. It would be a good read following '13 plants making it through '14.

Good luck

Dono

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gixxerific
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Re: Starting all from cuttings now?

I meant to say make sure you take cuttings from the best plants as they will retain the same genetics of the parent plant. So pick from the healthiest most robust plant containing the best fruit.

Rue Barbie
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Re: Starting all from cuttings now?

Usually frost-free here and tomatoes can survive the winter most years, even some years ripening nice fruits in the heart of winter. I also start cuttings from my tomato plants to extend the season.... But, every year I start the new plants from seed in order to interrupt any disease cycle. Once the new from seed tomatoes are in the ground and growing well, cuttings can be started at any time for the rest of the season.

To make cuttings, I take small side branches about 5-6 inches long (I prefer using those with shorter internodes), strip most of the bottom leaves, stick stem in moist mix in a regular 6 pony pack, firm them in, put in plastic bag, and place in bright or dappled shade. Roots form pretty quickly (look for them emerging from the bottom of the container), but before planting out, you have to harden the plant from being in shade and in a bag, especially if it's gotten warm.

I try to get out the last planting of tomatoes in August so there is ample light and warmth for good fruits. Not all winters are warm enough to ripen the best tomatoes, but if you have the space in full sun, it's worth the gamble.

Asica
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Re: Starting all from cuttings now?

I am curious to see what did you do and how your tomatoes are doing?

imafan26
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Re: Starting all from cuttings now?

Always frost free here. Tomatoes can be perennial in frost free climates but here disease is what kills them. I have kept tomatoes going almost 6 months. I really depends on the tomato. The cherries are much more resilient than the large tomatoes. Right now I have sunsugar, isis candy, grape and a wild cherry tomato. I planted an early girl at the community garden but I left it in the pot too long so I don't know how well it will do there. I know they grow from cuttings but I haven't found it to be worthwhile.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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MichaelC
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Location: Scotts Valley, CA

Re: Starting all from cuttings now?

The marketing is a bit over the top (I guess they're looking toward aging ravers?), but this is looking like a very good rooting product:

https://www.xtreme-gardening.com/#!azos/ci9u


From the same company that makes Mykos.

xtgold
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Location: CT USA Zone 6b

Re: Starting all from cuttings now?

I try to take cuttings that already have the bumpy bits and put them in 16 oz plastic cups with a soupy seed starting mix no drainage.The cups must be kept warm or the cuttings just rot.



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