This pool noodle trick can generate infinite tomato plants in your garden.

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Growing tomatoes in your backyard can be a rewarding and satisfying experience. With the right care, these plants provide a fresh and healthy crop all summer long. One of the challenges that gardeners face when growing tomatoes is how to effectively prune tomato suckers to maximize fruit production.

Below are easy step-by-step instructions, benefits, and potential drawbacks of this innovative method for turning tomato suckers into full-grown plants.

What are tomato suckers?

Tomato suckers typically grow in the area between the main stem and the branches of a tomato plant. Left unpruned, they can divert energy and nutrients from the primary fruit-producing parts of the plant, leading to smaller yields. Pruning these suckers early in the growth process allows the plant to focus on producing more and larger fruit.

The benefits of rooting tomato suckers

  • Increased harvest: By rooting and replanting suckers, you can potentially double or triple your tomato harvest.
  • Extra plants: Successfully rooted suckers can grow into mature plants, which can then be used as replacements in case any of your existing plants fail.
  • Faster growth cycle: Since suckers come from already mature plants, they often have a faster growth cycle than seedlings, meaning you could enjoy ripe tomatoes sooner.

Turning pool noodles into a hydroponic rooting station

This ingenious hack involves cutting cheap pool noodles into cross-sections and using them as floats for the tomato suckers while they develop their roots. The following steps detail how to create your hydroponic rooting station:

  1. Purchase a pool noodle: Opt for one with a hollow center, which will make inserting the suckers easier.
  2. Cut the pool noodle into sections: Using a sharp knife, cut sections about 1 to 2 inches thick. Make sure each section is wide enough to hold a tomato sucker securely.
  3. Add water to a container: Fill a shallow container or tray with clean water, ensuring it’s deep enough for the noodle sections to float while still submerging the bottom of the assigned sucker.
  4. Insert tomato suckers into noodle sections: Carefully place a trimmed sucker into the hole in the center of each noodle piece, making sure the end touches the water.
  5. Monitor sucker growth: Watch for root development on the submerged portion of each sucker within a few days to a week. Keep the water level consistent, adding more if necessary.
  6. Replant rooted suckers: Once roots have developed, transplant the new plants into pots or directly into the garden to continue growing and producing fruit.
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Potential drawbacks and solutions

Although this innovative method has numerous benefits, a few potential drawbacks should be noted:

  • Pool noodle deterioration: Inexpensive pool noodles can disintegrate over time when left in water. This could mean replacing your rooting system after prolonged use. To avoid any leaching of harmful chemicals, consider using higher-quality pool noodles or non-toxic foam alternatives.
  • Difficulty balancing plants: If your tomato suckers are top-heavy or have trouble staying upright, using several pool noodles or a larger floatation device can help maintain balance and keep the plants stable.
  • Root entanglement: As roots develop within a shared container of water, they may entangle with one another. To prevent this from happening and potentially harming your new plants, consider transplanting the rooted suckers as soon as possible.

In conclusion

Gardening hacks like this pool noodle method make the process of growing endless tomato plants more accessible and fun, even for beginners. By utilizing readily available materials to create hydroponic systems for rooting tomato suckers, it’s possible to enjoy an increased harvest while reducing waste.

Remember always to be mindful of potential drawbacks, monitor your root growth, and enjoy your bountiful garden full of delicious tomatoes.


Justin, an avid writer, is equally passionate about gardening, especially cultivating beautiful flowers and productive vegetable patches. His writing skillfully intertwines his gardening experiences with vivid descriptions and keen insights, inspiring readers to appreciate nature's beauty and consider their own gardening adventures.