Today I am going to go through the steps and reasons behind why we choose to grow a tomato plant from a sucker instead of always starting them from seeds. I will discuss why you would want to start a tomato plant from a sucker, a couple options for going about starting from suckers and when it would be better than simply starting a new tomato plant from a seed.
Tools for this are simple, a good pair of pruners and a bucket or similar container that will hold water. The heavily pruned suckers will be placed in water and allow the roots to grow. The water needs to be changed every couple of days, or when ever the water gets murky or a green color to it.
After a good amount of roots are formed, they can be transplanted into your garden. In this video they will be transplanted in our heat sink greenhouse, look for our videos this winter to see how the greenhouse and tomatoes do. Transplant the rooted sucker as deeply into the soil or growing medium as you're able to get them without any leaves touching the soil. Replace the soil in the hole while being certain not to leave any air pockets around the stem or roots.
After all your rooted suckers are transplanted, apply 1/4 ounce of nitrogen per linear foot. You can see how the nitrogen is applied and scratched into the soil near the plants without getting any nitrogen on the stems. Water the nitrogen in well.
For the next few weeks it will be necessary to keep these newly propagated tomato plants watered. Because they don't have a large root it is important that you keep the soil around the limited roots they have. This ensures the plants are able to get adequate water and nutrients. If you do this during a hot time of year it may even be necessary to water a few times each day. Without water these plants will not survive long.
While it wasn't mentioned in this video, it is important that you do not propagate a new tomato plant from a sucker that disease, such as blight. Using a plant with disease is going to ensure that your new tomato plants also have it. Only use healthy plants when you grow a new tomato plant from a sucker.