The Encyclopedia Hydroponica

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Cloning is Genetic, Apparently 1 July, 2008

Filed under: Blog — E.H. @ 8:45 pm
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So I have this cherry tomato plant at my house that’s growing out of the spot that we deposit the ashes when we barbecue.  It wasn’t planted there, it’s completely volunteer, and it’s arguably one of the most aggressively-growing things in the garden.  I did the logical thing.  I cloned it.

Any gardener can tell you that certain plants clone easier than others.  It’s genetic.  However, any gardener can also tell you that rooting is rarely an exact science.

The weird thing is I can’t seem to fail at it, and not for a lack of trying.  I’ve even tried doing it wrong.  I put a clear glass of tap water in a windowsill and stick cuttings in the water.  I get roots that fill the glass.  I put a LEAF – one leaf – from the Mystery plant in a glass of tap water thinking that since there’s no growth tip it’s sure to fail and thereby prove my mortality.

Nope.  It’s growing roots.

I took 4 cuttings from the tomato plant to try and get one or two good ones.  I get four.  I plant one in the dirt in the middle of the day, full searing sunlight.  It wilts and mopes for a couple days and recovers.  So I planted the remaining three as satellites of their mom, middle of the day, in the shade, and they’re doing great.  I even planted the leaf from the Mystery Plant with them.

Maybe I’m evil, but I hope it dies.

If it doesn’t die I’m going to have to find some more strenuous test to prove my thumb is a normal shade of green and not some kind of superhuman ultra-green.


4 Responses to “Cloning is Genetic, Apparently”

  1. Kim from Milwaukee Says:

    OMG, that’s hilarious! I’m consider myself lucky if I can keep one plant going all summer! If I get any tomatoes, that’s just a bonus!

    I’m sure glad the Compost Guy gabbed about you, I love your site. And I think we’re kindred spirits, in that I always try to make/fix/bungle things from what I’ve got on hand instead of going out and purchasing it. I’ve recently gotten interested in hydroponics, and I’m so glad you’ve posted about setting up a system with ‘found’ objects.

    You’re a godsend! Don’t ever stop blogging, ok?

  2. hydroponica Says:

    Thanks! It’s great to be appreciated and I was starting to wonder if I was simply blogging into the void. Bentley definitely can take a lot of credit for my new levels of readership.

    I kid you not – he posted one article linking to me and my traffic doubled.

    Oh, and a quick update on the cloning. A four tomato plant clones are going strong. The first one I mentioned is working on its first set of fruit, the others are monstrous but it’s hard to tell where they start and their mom begins (that plant is a tree now).

    And the Mystery Plant leaf, while still alive, doesn’t appear to be growing further. Frankly I’m a bit relieved. I just don’t like to flat-out kill plants, but that thing tasted horrid.

    I may not be an expert on hydroponics, but I’m working on it. If you’ve ever got any questions let me know – I love to help with that kind of thing and if I don’t know the answer to something I want to. (And I know where to get them.)

  3. Kim from Milwaukee Says:

    Thanks HydroMan! I didn’t know you could clone a tomato plant, by the way….that’s pretty amazing. What kind of fertilizer are you using?

  4. hydroponica Says:

    You can actually clone most any plant. Some are just harder than others.

    I got started gardening a bit late this year and didn’t really get organized. I’m currently renting but I hope to buy a house in time for some serious gardening next year. This year is mostly practice.

    That being said, I’ve fertilized my container tomatoes with coffee grounds from Starbucks (free to everyone – go get some!) and hydrated lime. I also feed many of the plants with the waste water from a reservoir change in my hydroponics. I save it all up and then use it every 4 waterings or so for anything growing in a pot.

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