Cloning may sound like a very complicated scientific process, but for the at-home gardener it is a very simple thing that anyone can do.
Step 1: Materials Needed
Absolute must haves:
A semi-mature tomato (Donor or mother plant) A plant with good growth and that has not been diseased or stressed.
A container or containers around 2 inches deep (I used one of my wife baking dishes, Ha ha)
Other optional items :
Rooting compound (can be found @ Wal-mart for 6 dollars[U.S.])
Seed heat mat
I realize that most gardeners probably have the humidity dome and seed mat, but I was aiming this instructable for the weekend warrior gardener in hopes of expanding minds and showing how simple and cost effective this act of cloning can be. The optional items will greatly speed up the cloning process BUT are not required to complete this process.
Step 2: Your Mother Plant
Now take a look at your plant where a large branch comes off of the main stem of the plant.
Where the branch comes off of the stem forming a "v" there will be new growth. This "start" or new growth is the target of our cutting.
This "start" if left on the plant will continue to grow and produce more branches. It has what is called "nodes" to start blossoms and new branches.
Important note: Selecting starts from the bottom stems of the plant have a better chance of producing roots because of increase in natural rooting hormone in the plant. ( I have had luck propagating starts from all areas of the plant though.)
Step 3: Cutting Your Mother Plant
IMPORTANT : As soon as you cut your start you should dip it in some tepid water
Now for the optional part. I have read, at this point you can stick it straight into moistened soil and mist and wait. the following steps are purely optional but guarantee success .
After dipping my cutting into the tepid water I use my razor and scrape the bottom inch of the cutting stem.
Step 4: Optional Step
After scraping the stem I dip the cutting again in the tepid water and then dip directly into the rooting compound.
Step 5: Lets Get Dirty
These cutting should be put under some light but not in direct sunlight. I always mist my cuttings twice a day to ensure their chances of success.
After a week (usually 2) your cuttings will have developed a root system, and can be transplanted outside.
When transplanting your cutting outside, bury it as deep as possible and more roots will grow from the stem.
Step 6: The Results
The first picture is my "MOTHER" plant , the second picture is semi mature cuttings almost ready to produce fruit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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GROW YOUR OWN FOOD !!!!!!!
GET YOUR KIDS INVOLVED, THEY WILL LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!