So what does this have to do with starting tomato plants from your existing plants (propagating)....... keep reading :)
Update: I thought you would enjoy seeing what these tomato plants now look like 2 months after propogating them: here is the picture of what they have Grown into :
Starting a tomato plant from one of your existing plants is so easy, I literally wondered why I did not start doing this decades ago!! I just finally got the courage up to do it last year and I was so successful at it, that I had 2 full seasons of tomato plants last year on only a couple of store bought plants!! I think the word "propagating" just sounds way more intimidating than it actually is! My plan for this year is to keep at least 3-4 plants going over the winter (our winter here is almost non-existent) so it should not be too hard! Maybe I can actually NOT buy any plants next spring, just plant all of my babies from the mother plants :)
Last week with my current Roma & Beefsteak plants getting kind of puny looking I started searching for the "suckers" as they are lovingly called. I started about 7 plants, and then again tonight I clipped some more of the suckers off of my Big tomato plants, I got 3 very large suckers 10-12 inches and 3 smaller ones 2-3 inch. That is going to be my plan, to continue to clip the suckers, let some get bigger and then get some while they are smaller so I have a variety of plants at various growth stages.
A little history on "suckers" they are always found growing in between the main stem and one of the branches, coming out of that 'Y' there. They are a new whole tomato plant capable of producing fruit in abundance. If you do not cut them back your plants will get HUGE and Viney (totally made up word) . Here is a couple of pictures that I took today as I was collecting my suckers for transplanting.
To the right is a close up of another one that I cut. See how they come out of the middle of the main stem and the branch. --->>>>
With last weeks clippings I utilized my "Creamer" containers by cutting them in 2/3 and 1/3 pieces on a couple and a couple of them I cut in 1/2 - to fit my various sizes of my clippings.
To start them, find your suckers and clip them as close to the main stem as you can without scratching the mother plant. Cut off ALL leaves and stems except the top 2-3. if there are any flowers or buds / tomatoes forming get rid of those too. Do not worry, they will grow back! The first couple of weeks you need the plant to focus on establishing a good rooting system. If there is a bunch of foilage it will try to feed the foilage instead of growing roots.
Here is what it looked like when I was done.
Today since I had used all of my re-purposed containers last week ((sigh)) I had to resort to a couple of regular pots (on clearance for $1) for the 3 bigger plants and for the 3 smaller plants I used the 3 oz dixie cups as my starter cups LOL - yes I have about 200 of those to start the rest of my seeds in as well.... at least until one of my granddaughter's notice that they have "duckies" on them ;)
Here is what this weeks clippings look like