As I was transplanting some tomato seedlings one tomato root broke off. Since I didn’t have so many plants I was disappointed that I had ruined such a healthy looking seedling. So I decided to transplant it anyway! Tomatoes are notorious for rooting very easily. If you let a tomato plant stay on the ground instead of staking it, the stem will send out many roots along the stem where it is touching the soil. So I wanted to experiment with planting it even though there was no root.
What Happened When the Tomato Root Broke Off
So I carefully watered the tomato plant without the root. Within 1-2 weeks I noticed new leaves growing from the tomato plant. So I knew that some roots had started growing. Here is a picture of the tomato seedling looking very good. This picture was taken after several weeks of growing. I am sure the new roots are well established now. So sometimes it pays to take a chance when a seedling is damaged. I never would have tried this if I had grown lots of seedlings. It is so hard to give up a seedling when you only have a few.
This will not happen with all seedlings. It won’t work with peppers, cucumbers or squash. Though squash vines will grow roots into the ground if they are touching the dirt. Sometimes this helps with the squash vine borer.
How Squash Vines Will Root Into Dirt
One summer I kept covering all the vines from my zucchini plant with soil. Then the vines will root wherever they are under the dirt. If a vine borer attacks the plant near the original root then the rest of the zucchini vine can still live because it has created new roots along the way. One summer I kept a zucchini plant growing all summer by covering the vines with dirt as they grew.
Time to Plant Your Own Tomato Seeds
By the way now is a great time to plant your own tomato seeds. They are easy to grow. Then you can choose whatever varieties you want. You won’t be limited by what is selling in the local nursery. Two that I highly recommend are Sungold Cherry Tomato Seeds and the Pink Brandywine Sudduths Strain Beefsteak Heirloom . These are both truly delicious tomatoes not like the practically tasteless tomatoes from the supermarket. More information on broken tomato vines.