Every year I start tomatoes and I never feel confident enough to just sow one seed. So I remove all but the strongest seedlings and pop the rest in water for about a week. The hairs develop roots and you end up with a ton of extra plants.
This year I started 7 tomato plants, but now have over 20. I'm probably just going to give the extras away.
I'm also growing pepino melons for the first time and they re-rooted just as well.
I like this idea. hadn't thought of doing this yet.
I'm always overseeding, but then just end up removing most of the sprouts. Saving them could be a nice idea.
Do you pull the sprouts out, roots and all, or do you just break of the top above the soil and plop that into water?
S. Bard wrote:do you just break of the top above the soil and plop that into water?
Yup! I use scissors and cut at the soil line. Some plants (like lettuce and basil) I just eat. But tomatoes are the only ones I've been able to reroot. I also managed to divide 4 borage who all sprouted in the same cell.
The bad part is, I didn't label these. So there are 3 different types (a red, green, and black). So if I give them away it's all a gamble.
Joseph, do you break the roots apart or cut at soil level?
Also, an honor to speak with you. I'm growing your astronomy domine corn this year. I was going to buy some seed packets off you, but thanks for turning me onto the experimental farm network via your website. I was upset to see some varieties not listed, but my yard is only so big anyway.
I'm new to starting veggie seed indoors this year, but I grew extra with intent of sharing with my friends and family. I't just pain silly, but I can't bare to yank out the little seedlings and chuck them. They are my babies now and I will care for them.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” — Abraham Lincoln
I move them earlier and don't mess with water as an intermediate stage. At or before the first set of true leaves I move the plants right to new cells. Simply gently pull the plant like it is a weed root and all, poke a hole in the soil in a new cell, poke the roots in the hole and firm the soil around it and water. Loss rate is only about 5% typically and most of those because I accidentally break them off pulling them. At that young age they transplant really well. Usually I can't tell the ones moved from the rest from the growth rate. At that early age it seems to have no noticeable effect. PS I usually start 2 seeds per cell and move the spare plants to other cells.
I tend to yank them out like weeds and then immediately replant in a new cell.
Like right now I have only space for eight trays under lights inside. Say maybe 5 weeks from now I'll be out in the greenhouse with lots of space. Some important tomato seeds got their own cell. Seeds I grew myself got kind of sprinkled in heavily.
Another possibility I also like is just keeping the whole clump as if it were one multi headed plant.
Though not every plant has to be maximally productive for me as I am mostly just amateur tomato breeding and tend to have thousands of small tomato plants rather than a few really big plants.
Western Montana gardener and botanist in zone 6a according to 2012 zone update.
Gardening on lakebed sediments with 7 inch silty clay loam topsoil, 7 inch clay accumulation layer underneath, have added sand in places.
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