Rooting Tomato Cuttings In Water Or Soil

How to Root Tomato Cuttings

Currently, I am starting two house plants from cuttings, simply in glass bottles. This is very easy and rooting tomato cuttings in water is just as simple. Tomato cuttings are amazingly fast and easy root growers. To begin, look for some of the sucker shoots on the chosen tomato plant that do not have buds on them. With sharp pruners, cut about 6-8 inches of the sucker or new growth at the tip of the branch. Then, you can simply immerse the tomato cutting in water or plant it directly into some soil medium. In water, the cutting should root within about a week and will be ready to transplant.
Roots will be stronger, however, if the cutting is allowed to root in soil. Also, rooting directly into soil medium skips the “middle man” since you are eventually going to transplant the cuttings to soil, you might as well start propagation there.
If you choose this route, it is also extremely easy. Take your 6- to 8-inch cutting and clip off any flowers or buds, if any, and snip off the bottom leaves, leaving only two leaves on the cutting. Put the cutting in water while you prepare the soil. You can root in peat pots, 4” containers filled with damp potting soil or vermiculite, or even directly into the garden. Make a hole with a dowel or pencil for the cutting to slip easily into and bury it up to where you cut off the lower leaves.
Put the cuttings in a warm, but shaded area either indoors or out. Just be sure it isn't scorching hot and the plants are protected from sun. Keep them moist in this area for a week to acclimate and then gradually expose them to stronger light until they are finally in the sun for most of the day. At this point, if they are in containers, you can transplant them into their permanent large pot or garden plot.
Tomatoes are actually perennials and can live for years in warm climates. However, they do not produce fruit in their successive years nearly as well as the first. This is where overwintering tomato cuttings for spring clones come into play. This idea is especially useful in areas of the southern U.S. Just follow the above instructions up to transplanting the cuttings into a larger pot and keep in a warm, sunny room to overwinter until the spring.
Voila! Tomato propagation couldn't be easier. Just remember to take cuttings from plants that have the best yields and tastiest fruit, as the cuttings will be a virtual clone of the parent and, thus, retain all its characteristics.



Ginger’s plant power is no secret, as it’s been used for thousands of years to keep people well and vibrant! We hope you’ll try and enjoy incorporating more ginger into your foods, teas and winter rituals.

Gardeners can control winter weeds

Gardeners can control winter weeds

Even though your lawn is dormant in the winter, weeds may still be growing. On a mild day, use a herbicide to get rid of unwanted weeds. Follow label directions. 

Plant a tree for Arbor Day

Plant a tree for Arbor Day

January is the prime planting season for trees or shrubs in Louisiana. Arbor Day is celebrated here the third Friday of January. If you are considering planting a tree, now is the time to do it. 

New Bulbs for Spring 2015

This year, the excitement level was met with an amazing selection of vibrant, unique summer-blooming bulbs that we’ll all be adding to our landscapes this spring.

New Dahlias

As the Dahlia gardener knows, there is always room for new varieties in the garden and each year must top the last! 

Dinnerplate Dahlia Peaches and Cream


New Irrigation

New Irrigation Technology Offers Big Savings

Once upon a time strategic water management was only available to the largest commercial properties — and it cost big. However recent advancements make these same irrigation systems available to residential properties at a fraction of the price, today.
By The Blade is proud to offer a new line of irrigation technology products by Weathermatic. These cloud based, weather station equipped controllers are designed to save you money, while practicing good stewardship of our planet’s most valuable resource.

Integrating seamlessly with your existing irrigation system, Weathermatic’s Smartline Controllers and Wireless Weather Stations connect to the internet and your property for calculation of multiple data points, including the National Weather Service, to deliver a real-time assessment of your lawn scapes watering needs. Adjusting the duration, frequency, and soak time based on plant and soil type during season.

There are now over 200,000 Smartline controllers in operation across the globe and users are reporting a reduction of 25%-75% in water usage based on location, plantings and climate. Any way you spray it that cost savings fills up fast.

Finally, one of the coolest benefits is everything’s controlled from your phone or tablet device. If you’re in Europe or your back yard, you have the reins, making complex irrigation management simple, affordable and accessible. Also, if an irrigation head malfunctions or a line springs a leak By The Blade is sent a service alert immediately for repair. This one simple function could save hundreds of gallons of water per instance.

Mowing Tips

Mowing Tips

Mowing seems simple enough, but each time you cut your grass you’re paving the way for your lawn’s success or failure. Mow correctly, and you’ll groom turf that’s healthy, drought-tolerant and thick enough to crowd out weeds. Mow incorrectly, and your lawn will struggle to survive. Time mowings so you’re never removing more than one-third of the total leaf surface (of a single grass blade) with each cutting.

Scalping Lawn
Avoid scalping grass, which is cutting it too short. A scalped lawn is vulnerable to diseases and weed infestation. Scalped turf tends to be weak and sparse, which exposes soil. One of the No. 1 contributors to weed success is exposed soil that allows weed seed to take root. A sparse lawn also lets sunlight reach weed seedlings and give them a boost. Grass that’s consistently cut too short has a poorly developed root system, which makes the lawn more susceptible to serious damage from drought or high temperatures.

Sharpen Mower Blade
Keep your mower blade sharp to get the best results from each mowing. A sharp blade cuts grass cleanly, while a dull blade tears grass, creating a jagged, uneven edge. These tears create openings for pests and diseases to enter grass blades. A lawn that has been cut with a dull blade develops a whitish or brown hue as the tips of individual grass blades die back. Sharpen blades at least a few times during the mowing season. Avoid mowing over thick branches or stones to reduce blade dulling or even damage. Consider purchasing an extra mower blade, so that you always have a sharp blade at the ready.

Adjusting Mower Height
Adjust mower height throughout the growing season. For instance, shift the cutting deck higher in summer and allow grass to grow longer. Taller grass helps shade soil, which prevents weed growth and slows water evaporation from soil. Taller grass also develops deeper roots, which creates a lawn that can withstand drought better. In late autumn, in regions where winter brings snow cover, lower the cutting deck for the last mowing of the season to help prevent snow mold from forming on grass.

Shady Mowing
Lawns that grow in shady areas benefit from a higher mowing height. Longer grass blades have a greater surface area for conducting photosynthesis. In a low-light situation, this is a great benefit and a secret to growing a healthy lawn in the shade.

Mow When Grass Is Dry
Ideally, mow when grass is dry. Mowing a wet lawn doesn't harm the grass, but it doesn't yield the best results. Wet grass fills and clogs a mower deck. It also has a tendency to fall over and clump together as you mow, creating an uneven cut. Watch for clumps of wet grass that fall off the mower. Remove these from the lawn after mowing to avoid killing grass. Always avoid mowing in soggy soil, or you risk creating wheel ruts and tearing up grass. If you must mow the lawn when it’s damp, treat the underside of your mower with oil or silicone spray to help prevent grass from sticking. Also, make sure your mower blade is sharp to avoid ripping grass out of soil.

Mow in Shade
When you prune a plant, it causes stress. Grass is no different. The act of mowing creates tremendous stress on grass plants. If you mow during the heat of the day, individual grass plants lose more water and recover much more slowly than if you mow during the cooler part of the day. Another option is to wait until shade is on the lawn. Grass in the shade loses less water when cut and is quicker to rebound.

Roll Wheel on Edging
Create a flat edging along your lawn beside driveways, walks and planting areas. When mowing, roll a wheel of the mower on this edging, and you’ll never have to string trim edges. Use any number of materials to create your edging, including bricks, gravel, concrete pavers or tightly packed crushed limestone, like crusher run.

Grass Cycling
When you let grass clippings lie on the lawn after cutting, that’s called grass cycling. It not only saves you time (no more bagging clippings), but it also saves money (no more yard waste bags or fees). Grass clippings can provide up to 25 percent of your lawn’s fertilizer needs, so you’ll save some dough on fertilizer, too. You don’t need a specialized mulching mower, although you might want to replace your current mower blade with a mulching blade, which cuts grass into smaller pieces that decompose quickly. You can grass cycle with minimal fuss and mess. To avoid being sprayed with grass clippings while mowing, purchase an adaptor kit for your mower that supplies a plug to fill the hole where clippings normally exit the mower deck. Look for universal kits online or from stores that sell mowers.


When Is The First Day Of Spring 2015?

When is First day of spring?
Friday, the 20th of  March 2015
Only 75 days left!


Vegetables to plant in January


Vegetables to Plant in January:
beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery*, Chinese cabbage, collards, eggplant**, English and snow peas, Irish potatoes***, kale, kohlrabi, leeks*, lettuce, mustard, onions*, peppers**, radish, rutabaga, shallots*, snow peas, spinach, Swiss chard, tomatoes** and turnips.
* use sets, or transplants; ** plant seeds in hot beds or greenhouses; *** plant seed pieces
Vegetables to Plant in February
beets, broccoli*, cabbage*, carrots, cauliflower*,collards, corn**, Swiss chard, eggplant***, Irish potatoes*, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, peppers***, radish, rutabagas, snap beans**, shallots, tomatoes***, turnips
* plant transplants or seed pieces; ** plant in late February in south La.; *** sow seeds in hot beds or greenhouses
Vegetables to Plant in March
cantaloupe, collards, corn, cucumbers, cucuzzi, eggplant*, kohlrabi*, lima beans, mirliton**, mustard, peppers*, pumpkin, radish, snap beans, Southern peas, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes*, watermelons, winter squash
* plant transplants in mid to late March; ** plant the entire fruit with the sprouted end in the soil about 3 inches deep
Vegetables to Plant in April
cantaloupe, collards, corn, cucumber, cucuzzi, cushaw, eggplant*, honeydew, lima beans, luffa, Malabar spinach, mirliton (plant sprouted fruit), okra, peppers*, pumpkin, snap beans, Southern peas, squashes, sweet potato (rooted cuttings known as Aslips@), Swiss chard, tomato, watermelon
Vegetables to Plant in May:
collards, cucuzzi, eggplant, hot pepper, luffa, mirliton (plant sprouted fruit), okra, peanut, pumpkin, Southern peas, squash, sweet potato (use slips), heat tolerant tomatoes.
Due to heat and pest problems, the following vegetables are generally not as productive planted this late.  Plant in early May:
corn, cucumber, lima bean, snap bean, Swiss chard 
Vegetables to Plant in June
cantaloupe, collards, cucuzzi, eggplant, luffa, okra, peanuts, hot peppers, pumpkin, Southern peas, sweet potato (slips), Swiss chard, watermelons, heat tolerant tomatoes. Although squash and cucumbers can be planted in June and July, production is difficult during mid summer due to pest problems.  In late June you can plant seeds of tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplant for fall transplant production.
Vegetables to Plant in July
broccoli*, Brussels sprouts*, cabbage*, cantaloupe, cauliflower*, Chinese cabbage*, collards, cucumbers, luffa, okra, peppers*, pumpkins, Southern peas, shallots, squashes, tomatoes*, watermelons
* plant seeds for transplants 
Vegetables to Plant in August
bell pepper*, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bunching onions**, cabbage, cauliflower, Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage, collards, cucumbers, lima beans, mustard, snap beans, Southern peas, peppers*, Irish potatoes, ***rutabagas, shallots**, squashes, tomatoes*, turnips
* transplants; ** sets; *** plant small, whole potatoes saved from the spring crop 
Vegetables to Plant in September
beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli*, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower*, Chinese cabbage, collards, English and snow peas, Irish potato***kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mustard, onion, radish, rutabagas, shallots**, snap beans, Swiss chard, turnips
* plant seeds early or use transplants; ** plant sets; *** plant small, whole potatoes saved from the spring crop
Vegetables to Plant in October
beets, broccoli*, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower*, celery, Chinese cabbage, collards, garlic**, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce***, leeks, mustard, onions, radishes, shallots, Swiss chard
* plant transplants by mid month; ** plant individual toes; *** leaf and semi-heading varieties are more reliable than heading types
Vegetables to Plant in November
beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, collards, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard, onions, radishes, rutabaga, shallots, spinach, Swiss chard, turnips
Vegetables to Plant in December
beets, Brussels sprouts*, cabbage, carrots, celery*, Chinese cabbage, collards, garlic*, kale, kohlrabi, leeks**, lettuce, mustard, onions**, radish, rutabaga, shallots**, spinach, Swiss chard, turnips
* plant transplants; ** plant sets or transplants 
Prepared by: Dan Gill, Consumer Horticulturist, LSU AgCenter