Re: [tomato] Growing tomatoes indoors (
Sun, 31 Oct 1999 18:23:13 EST

In a message dated 10/31/1999 5:36:17 PM US Eastern Standard Time, writes:

<< Unable to stand the long winter without gardening, I broke down and 
planted 18 tomato seeds indoors.  Since they're perennial, I'm hoping I can 
keep vines going indoors and simply take cuttings to make new plants when it 
comes time to plant out in spring.  Has anyone tried this technique before?  
I planted sweet 100s and some Brandywines, just because I had some old fruit 
going to rot.
 Can I do this with any of the other nightshades?


I have made cuttings of tomatoes for wintering over before on numerous 
occasions.  I had my best luck with a greenhouse or well lit sun room.  I 
wouldn't suggest doing it unless you really want to play around with tomatoes 
all fall, winter, and spring.  If you don't have good light and/or artificial 
light to get 16 hour days, you may end up with spindly tomatoes and will have 
to wait until warm spring days to make cuttings.  You may experience foliar 
diseases, damping off, Botrytis, name it.

     I have made cuttings in the fall to get greenhouse vines quickly that 
would bloom so that I could get pollen parents for existing vines that I 
wanted to cross to.   Often times I wanted to make backcrosses or cross to an 
unusually great breeding selection from the field.  I use a rooting hormone 
to speed up the rooting process.  I simply take a 6 to 8 inch cutting, remove 
some bottom leaves and stick it in perlite under a misting unit with frequent 
timings of mist.  You can do it by covering with plastic, but watch out for 
foliar problems.

     I have done cuttings on other so called "nightshades" such as 80 
different tuber bearing wild solanum species.  I got varied results with 
potatoes because of the early tuberization of cuttings.  Some potato species 
like S. chacoense work great because of the late onset of tuber formation.