Anyone tried Mighty Matos?

bcfromfl(z8a NW FL)March 22, 2013

Hi everyone --

OK...I got suckered by the ads. I decided to try three Big Beef grafted ones alongside my seedlings. They arrived about three weeks ago, wilted inside the shipping container. They perked up quickly after potting up and watering, but since then have grown ZILCH! I did notice as I was potting up that there are very few roots. By contrast, my seedlings are packing on the size, and leaving these in the dust.

Will they reach a "critical mass" point and take off? I'm concerned because our season is short here in the Panhandle, and if you don't have tomatoes by the end of June, you might as well forget about it. I allocated three precious tubs to these guys!

-Bruce

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Had never heard of them so had to Google them to find out what we are talking about. The website, which i won't link here as it is very commercial, is very suspicious - no contact or about us info, no physical address, wants your email and login just to find a vendor, uses cartoons, etc. Sounds a lot like a phishing website.

At any rate they are apparently nothing more than any of the other grafted tomato plants one can buy from many vendors - many of them more reputable than this site.

There are several discussions here about 'grafted tomato plants'. Most find them to not be worth the cost (to put it politely).

Hope you have luck with yours.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 3:10PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I'm not sure it's quite that bad, but the site's certainly not easy to use. And I agree that clicking on "About," you'd expect more information than simply the main page. Definitely poor site design ... on a number of counts.

If you double-click on the "Retail Location" heading (but not the "Add Location" that opens beneath it), you'll see some black smudges in California and one in Wisconsin -- kind of look like they should indicate wildfires!

But how it really works is if you open up the "Search by City" drop-down menu on that page. Then you'll find that their plants seem to be for sale at retail stores which aren't designated by wildfire smoke -- probably totaling well over 125. The largest number are in Quebec and California, but there are also many in Ontario, Texas, and Georgia, and others scattered in various parts of the US.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 7:06PM
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bcfromfl(z8a NW FL)

Thanks for your comments! I didn't think to search the forum using "grafted tomatoes"...senior moment for me. I ordered the plants from an online vegetable plant site, although they are also available through Lowe's and HD. Totally Tomatoes also carries them.

My experience with tomato plants is that they should be extremely vigorous at this stage of growth. I can't imagine why these are stalled, especially since they're supposed to have such great rootstock.

-Bruce

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 11:13PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Potting mix got too dry in shipping and the roots were damaged? I'm just guessing.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 12:25AM
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ncrealestateguy

That would be my guess too. Now they are probably just taking time to get a new root mass before spending energy on foilage.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 8:22AM
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bcfromfl(z8a NW FL)

I hope that's it -- although the roots were OK enough for them to respond quickly to watering when I got them. I'm nearing the four-week mark now, and still nothing. The leaves are a lighter green in color, instead of blue-green, and show darker veining.

Graft doesn't seem to have set properly, and is open around the edges. I'm leaving the special stakes in place for support, for now.

-Bruce

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:09AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

The leaf color sounds like they need a bit of fertilizer. Have you fertilized yet?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 3:09PM
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bcfromfl(z8a NW FL)

I've fertilized lightly with a balanced fertilizer, although when I potted up, it's also in rich compost. I don't want to push it right now, when the plants are in some sort of distress.

I just got out a magnifying glass and inspected the graft site on one of the plants. This may explain the problem...it's "indented" (if that makes sense) and scarred all the way around the graft. So, my question is, does a tomato stem grow from the inside and push out, or does it keep adding new girth to the outside, like a tree ring?

-Bruce

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 4:43PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Bruce, in my utterly non-botanist view, a tomato stem just sort of widens. The various structures (layers of outer skin, inner vessels, pith, etc.) stay in their places but increase in size. Not quite as simple as how your finger grows from babyhood to adulthood, but closer to that than to a tree trunk. There will be other changes in the tomato stem later, but not till your plants are much older than they are now.

Click on the links marked "Primary tissues" and "Secondary tissues" here:
http://www-plb.ucdavis.edu/labs/rost/Tomato/Stems/Stems.html

Here are some close-ups of tomato stem grafts:
http://www.ezrasorganics.com/ezras-organic-methods/ezras-grafting-process/
http://therealgarden.com/2011/05/tomato-grafting-spunky-pulls-through/

One of them talks about grafting stems which don't quite match in diameter; maybe that's what happened with your indentation. Could you post a photo?

I'm betting your leaf color issue would be solved with a bit of Miracle-Gro. Probably a lack of iron. But I-am-not-an-expert, so we'll hope one of them happens along soon.

Don't knock scars: they're very useful things. They hold us together. ;-)

-mto

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:11AM
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bcfromfl(z8a NW FL)

Thanks very much for the links, and for your layman's explanation. Those are very nice-looking grafts in the photos! Mine look nothing like that! The ones on my plants are on a diagonal, and as I said, there's a gap of almost an eighth of an inch between the rootstock and the scion. There's the tan-colored scar tissue, around a narrower stem in the graft site.

We've had a few warmer days, but mostly "coolish" since I received them (40-45F nights, 55-65F days). I noticed in one of the links that the author mentioned he preferred warmer temps for the grafts to heal better. Perhaps that has something to do with the sluggishness. There just aren't enough roots to feed the scion, and the restriction around the graft site isn't helping matters. I could try a bit more fert, but I don't want to burn their feet. I know there's probably some leftover fert in the compost they're in.

I'm afraid my camera's not cooperating these days...

Thanks again!

-Bruce

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 2:22AM
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