Michael, Auckland.

If you or a friend have one tomato plant it is really easy to get many freebies. Use the laterals. These are the ‘unwanted’ side shoots that you are told to remove. Do remove them. As you do your gardening keep a cup of water handy, carefully pull the shoot off and put the shoot in the water. After about 3 days in water the shoots will start to grow roots. A new plant. Once the roots are about 1-2cm long plant them into pots of mix or compost & soil, then after a week or so into the garden. If you have some fine gravel or pumice put this in the water the shoots are in. It helps to keep the roots separate, grow stronger & easier to pot on.

Always plant standard tomatoes deep so the top is just above soil level. The original roots are deeper, closer to water and the buried stem will grow roots allowing the plant to grow faster & healthier.