Expert gardener shares hack for growing near-infinite supply of tomatoes: ‘This does work’

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A TikToker shared a hack to get more out of your tomato plants.

The scoop

Expert gardener Optimistic Kitchen (@optimistickitchen) showed that removing and planting suckers can give you a near-infinite supply of the juicy fruit.

“Propagating Tomato Plants is easy and will yield a much bigger harvest this season,” they wrote in June. “They also make a nice little gift if you have too many.”

@optimistickitchen Propagating Tomato Plants is easy and will yield a much bigger harvest this season. They also make a nice little gift if you have too many. 😁🧪#OptimisticKitchen #Foodtiktok #gardentok #gardentiktok #gardener #tomatogarden #tomatoplants #tomatosuckers #gardentip #gardeningtip #makeyourkitchenyourhappyplace #fypgarden #gardentiktok #ReduceFoodWaste #GrowFood #growyourfood #Thrive #victorygarden #pottedgarden #herbgarden #freshherbs #fyp #foryou #vegetablegarden #growingfoodinpots #growinpots #freshproduce #containergardening #suburbangarden #containergardener #propagateplants #propagate #tomatoplants #propagateplants #propagatetomatoplants #PropagationStation ♬ original sound – optimistickitchen

“The suckers are the little growths that come out from between the main stem and the leaf,” the creator explained. “You can see they shoot up right from the angle there, and I just pinch it right off. I do this so that the energy of the plant stays within the plant instead of focusing on offshoots.”

They said they use big suckers “that kind of get away from me,” take off the bottom leaves, and stick them in saturated soil — keep it watered — or a cup of water for six days. The creator used a cool test tube propagator that doubled as wall art.

“When it’s convenient for me,” they continued, “I’ll plant them in soil and have a couple of new tomato plants off of my old tomato plants that I didn’t have to pay for.”

How it’s helping

Growing your own food is beneficial in many ways.

First, you don’t have to pay for produce at the grocery store, where prices have risen or remained high despite moderating inflation. Second, it can improve your physical health via increased activity and consumption of fiber. Studies have also shown community gardening improves mental health, including subjective well-being, resilience, and optimism.

Finally, you can reduce your impact on the environment by decreasing demand for produce and other items that need to be shipped around the world.

What everyone’s saying

One TikToker shared their version of the hack, saying, “I let mine get about 4-6” long – put in water – wait for roots then pot.”

“Good information,” another user wrote. “I broke up a piece of beef steak tomato plant earlier in the season. I now have another big beef steak tomato plant. This does work.”

The creator replied: “Last year, one of my tomato plants was bent in the wind, so I snapped it off and had two!”

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