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

Stanley Tate on Birds

Old wives’ tales are just that

Have you ever wondered if ostriches really stick their heads in the sand to hide? Two of my friends are so sure that they do I am writing th ... Read More


Spring Art Walk crowds gather downtown

Crowds were notable in downtown Newnan, despite the rain, for the city’s biannual Art Walk held on March 20. The event boasted works f ... Read More


Weekender: See & Do

"The Walking Dead”-themed run • “Running Dead Ultra” is a 100 (Mile)/50M/50K two-day running event from March 28-29 ... Read More


Casino Night: Gamble to give back

People of Coweta County will roll the dice Saturday, all for a good cause. The Newnan Junior Service League is hosting Casino Night at the M ... Read More


Movie Reviews: ‘A Girl Like Her’ and ‘It Follows’

Social media goes on your permanent record

‘A Girl Like Her’ Life is tough for 16-year-old Jessica Burns (played by Lexi Ainsworth), especially when she draws the ire of ... Read More

Food & Dining

Barbecue to benefit childhood cancer research

The Senoia Optimist Club recently hosted its annual barbecue fundraiser to benefit childhood cancer research. The event included plates of p ... Read More