Gardening

Rooting tomato suckers great at mid-season

Home gardeners who want to add more tomato plants to their garden, may want to consider growing transplants from suckers.

Suckers are side shoots that grow between the stem and the branch of tomato plants.

Rooting from suckers is an excellent option, as many garden centers don’t carry tomato transplants this time of year and growing from seeds would take too long.

A late crop of tomatoes set between now and the end of July should start producing about the time tomato plants set early in the season become unproductive. With all the rain we’ve had this year, disease may cause many tomato plants to become unproductive before the end of August.

To root tomato suckers, select healthy tomato suckers that are three to four inches long. Place several suckers in a jar and add sufficient water to cover the ends one to two inches. The use of a rooting hormone is not necessary but would probably hasten the process. Set the suckers in a cool, well-lit spot until new roots develop. Set rooted plants in the garden and immediately provide shade to each plant for a few days until suckers start to grow. Gardeners can use a few small leafy shrub branches to create the right amount of shade. 

This late in the season fertility is more important than ever. If you do not have a soil test from this winter, take a soil sample to your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office now. This will allow you to get the results back before the suckers are ready to transplant.

Water soluble fertilizers, like Miracle Grow or Peters, are good for getting transplants off to a fast start but should not be expected to take the place of soil test recommendations.

For more on growing home garden tomatoes, see the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences publication website at www.caes.uga.edu/publications/.

(Frank Watson is the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent in Wilkes County, Ga.)




More Close Up

Weekender: See & Do

• Southern Ground Social Club, 18 Main St., Senoia, Fri., Oct. 31, a Halloween show by Dogs in a Bathtub, along with Best Brothers, wil ... Read More


Movie Review

‘Nightcrawler’ catches fear in the frame

Eager, with a large plastic smile, Louis Bloom, a budding news videographer, tells his television producer that he’s working on framin ... Read More


Food & Dining

Annual chili cook-off gives back to community

With a brisk fall night in the air, the classic taste of warm chili was comforting, especially in the name of fundraising for kids. The seve ... Read More


Food & Dining

Warm up to toasty, tasty chili

(FAMILY FEATURES) – Whether cooking for a crowd or serving up a regular weeknight meal, nothing warms the body and pleases the appetit ... Read More


Breast Cancer Awareness

Pink Ladies raise $55K for Atlanta walk

Every dollar raised in the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer stays in Georgia, and of the 134 teams in the Oct. 11-12 walk, it just so ha ... Read More

Resurrection Lutheran retreat focuses on women's health

Women of Resurrection Lutheran Church retreated to Lutheranch in Tallapoosa last weekend for ministry in support of Breast Cancer Awareness ... Read More