tomato cuttings?

OK, there was a thread on this last year, but I'm not sure we got closure on it.
What's the most effective way to do tomato cuttings? I took six inch young stems off a very healthy overgrown red cherry, and stuck them five inches deep in moist potting soil indoors with indirect light. They looked happy for more than a week (with no growth), and finally decided to die (with no obvious growth or new shoots). What gives? I want a fall crop!
Rootone? Bay leaves? Water soak?
Tomatoes have all these hairs on their stems that are supposed to turn into roots, so I've heard. Can't be that hard! Lots of people must want to do this. Can someone point me to details on a tried and true method? This can't be one of those things that *needs* root stimulator to make it work.
Doug
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In article <9ceb9e48-00cf-4f5f-b7c9-0d01f5276536

Water has worked for us.
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It's not the hairs, it's the little bumps on the stems. I once turned 4 tomato plants into 40 when I worked at the community college greenhouse. :-)
I put them in water and put them under the overhead sprayers. Planted them when they had about 4" root systems and made sure they stayed moist until they established.
You could try misting twice per day to get the same effect.
It's fun. :-)
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Thanks. I'll try water soaking some cuttings in a deep jar, with misting of the greenery on top. Actually, I'll put a plastic bag over all of it to keep the humidity in. I still have some cuttings in soil that haven't yet up and died, and I'll start misting those as well.
I saw a newsgroup post that claimed that cuttings rooted in water ended up with a different kind of roots than cuttings rooted in soil, and that those former kind of roots didn't take to soil as well. But it sounds like you all succeeded.
By the way, I pulled one of the dead stems I had in soil, and there were delicate, half inch long roots on the end of it! So maybe I didn't miss by much.
Doug
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Make sure the soil you're using with your cuttings is STERILE or your cutting can rot. I start my tom cuttings in water. As soon as the roots are 1 to 2" long I pot them in a sterile starter soil and watch them closely for wilting. I mist them or use a plastic bag. Either has worked for me. Anything that doesn't root with the others is thrown out.
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I've been trying that too.
I put my clipping in a tall glass of water with a willow branch about 3 inches long. I heard that a willow branch will help the rooting process. It all sets in the shade outside in Oklahoma. 90F + days and 80F nights.
One of my tomatoes has lost all it's leaves but the stem is still green and there are no roots yet.
The other one still has leaves but is going the route of the first one.
The willow branch has green shoots about 4 inches long.
:-(
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Olivia's Cloning gel[1], planted in Grodan cubes[2], and watered daily with Olivia's Cloning solution[3]. Works great with chile peppers, too. My success rate is nearly 100%.
Regards, Greg
[1] http://www.wormsway.com/detail.asp?sku=OCG300 [2] http://www.wormsway.com/detail.asp?sku=SC300 # [3] http://www.wormsway.com/detail.asp?sku=OC300
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OK, I'm getting warmer in my quest for seedlings from tomato cuttings.
I took a 15 gallon aquarium with a plexiglass top, and put my cuttings in that. 78-80F, and about 100% humidity (unlike the 30-40% humidity in the rest of the house). Spray water on the cuttings about once a day. The inside walls of the aquarium are continually fogged.
Most of the cuttings in planting mix died (though these were all ones that were planted pre-aquarium). A few are still looking good, ten days later. That planting mix was not, I admit, sterile.
Stuck a bunch on cuttings six-inches deep in a bottle of sterile water. Put those in the aquarium with the others. Those are still looking good, a week later, but I sure don't see any roots. How long should it take to get roots out of those tomato cuttings in water?
Geez, I didn't use distilled water. Should I have done that?
Grasping for roots here ...
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com writes:

Just plain water has worked for me as well. Sometimes I put a bit of good composted soil in the bottom for extra nourishment but that is really for me rather than the tomato as it seems to make no difference at all. Plant when the roots look healthy and able to support the plant (depends on how much stem and leaf growth is there, the more there is, the more root is needed (Maybe?).
One year, when a plant got split in half, the half I rooted in water (stem and leaves) turned out to produce better than the half (with roots) that was able to stay in the ground. I have even had them bear (lightly!) when I just left them in the water.
Tomato plants are hardy, very, and survive under incredible conditions - then we can have nightmares with them when all is right and mother nature has other ideas!
Glenna

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I think I've got it. (But the cuttings in plain water never showed any roots. That just didn't work.)
As I said above, aquarium with plexiglass on top. Put sterile potting soil in six inch tall foam cups slotted in the bottom. Get a cutting with that length of stem (I'm just doing Red Cherry), and pack it in to the soil, with the tip of the stem on the bottom of the cup. That way, you have six inches of stem in the soil. Soak the cups once with sterile water. Put cup in aquarium (with a half inch of water on the bottom), and mist once every day or two. Kept indoors, next to a window with partial sun. Temps stay 76-80F inside, and aquarium walls are covered in condensation continually. Relative humidity in there must be ~100% all the time. So the key ingredients are soil and humidity, it would appear.
Started that about two weeks ago, and not only are the cuttings surviving, they're growing! Never even any wilting. Some are now pushing up on the plexiglass lid.
Hooray!
I wonder if the variety of tomato makes any difference here.
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