Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Taking Tomato Cuttings

Just three of my tomato plants were safe in the greenhouse when all the rest were badly frosted a couple of weeks ago. You can see here there are some nice side shoots which I have left to take as cuttings. I don't want to leave them to get too much bigger because that will sap the strength from the parent plant.
So as gently as possible, and trying to avoid the delicate hairs on the stem I broke them off at the base.
Taking off any larger leaves which will stress the seedling, dibbed a hole in some potting compost and planted them as deep as they would go. The new roots will grow from the base and from the hairs on the stem, so I want them to get as good a start in life as I can.
They might sulk for a couple of days, but some bottom heat and a moist atmosphere out of direct sunlight will get them on their way.
Meanwhile back on the pea patch.. by pinching out the lead shoot several weeks ago, each one of these salmon flowered peas has developed 4 or 5 different stems. This is an old variety of pea which can reach 7ft in height with the flowers and pods forming at the top. I am growing them up an ornamental rose arch.
My curcurbits are realy putting on a growth spurt at the moment, following our recent hot, sunny weather. This is one of my Soleil yellow courgettes I am growing in a black dustbin.
Climbing bean Lazy Housewife here were outgrowing their nursery pot so I planted these out up a wigwam this week too.
Courgette Defender is one of my regular, stalwart varieties. Prolific cropping and resistant to the cucumber mosaic virus, it does well for me here.


At 9:28 PM, Blogger Kath said...

Salmon flowered never get above 4 ft for me. You must have some robust plants there!

At 9:50 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Veg Heaven - I've not grown salmon peas before, I'll have to wait and see. Some of the older varieties are taller than the new ones, 4ft would be just perfect.

At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Damo said...

All your plants are looking very healthy Matron.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger BilboWaggins said...

Thanks for the Courgette Defender photo - that might be the unidentified variety given to me by a neighbour.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Bilbo - Defender is easily recognizable because it has silver spots all over the centre of the leaves.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger BilboWaggins said...

Thanks Matron. goes out to greenhouse, checks, comes back ...

Hmm, not silver spots, but on the more mature leaves, more like silver along the veins, more prominent in centre of leaf, radiating out ... must do a decent photo and put on my own blog.

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Judy said...

Great idea about using the side shoots of the tomatoes for new plants. You just never know when a tomato plant is going to bite the dust. I've had several of mine that it looks like is wilting (has the wilt virus?) Hopefully I have enough tomatoes planted so that the ones that are dying will not matter.

I've never heard of pinching back the main stem on a pea plant but it really makes sense to do this so that the plant will produce a bush (and hopefully more peas). Do you do this with all pea plants or just this variety?

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Hi Matron

As I always seem to nip out my shoots when they are small, so never seem to save any decent cuttings.However I did want to put something on my blog about taking cutting, could I pinch your little article about it, with a credit to you of course.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Steve - yes please do. I hope the cuttings catch up eventually!

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Thanks Matron, it will be nice to keep up with their progress, which I will add to the section when you post anything about them.
Years ago when doing if for fun in the commercial greenhouses I used to work in, I found that they tended to have thinner harder stems, and did not produce as well.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Richard W. said...

I had no idea you could use tomato side shoots as cuttings. Useful if you need extra plants when it's past sowing time.


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