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

The Power of Community

14th annual cookout held in Grantville

Grantville showed the power of community recently with its 14th annual cookout. On Aug. 16, the Ladies and Gentlemen of Grantville, the host ... Read More


Stanley Tate on Birds

Fall migration has started

Late summer is a restless time for birds. As the days get shorter, they are beginning to eat with fervor, anticipating the task before them. ... Read More


Military Notes

Collins completes leader course at Ft. Knox Bradley Collins, an Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadet at New York University, B ... Read More


Focus on the Family with Jim Daly

Teen’s use of marijuana causes tension in family

(Editor’s note: This column originally was published in Aug. 2013.) Q: What can we do about our teen's use of marijuana? When we confr ... Read More


Weekender: See & Do

• Southern Ground Social Club, 18 Main St., Senoia, Fri., Aug. 29, features a southern belle singer-songwriter who performs soul in Dan ... Read More

Movie Review

‘The November Man’: Neeson’s safe, this is no ‘Taken'

Bang! You’re dead. Bang! You’re dead too. Bop! Another one knocked cold. Car chase. Bang! Bang! Bang! Another three dead. Foot c ... Read More