Grafted Tomatoes

tommykJuly 3, 2014

Has anyone tried growing grafted tomatoes? After hearing all the hype and thinking why go to all the extra work and pay the high cost of seeds for a rootstock to graft on we decided to try it. We grafted 10 heirloom tomato varieties onto Maxifort rootstocks and planted out 10 grafted and 10 regular tomato plants of the same variety side-by-side. Much to our surprise the grafted tomato plants are far more robust and larger than the standard ones. Not that the standard ones are doing poorly, in fact they are doing great, but the grafted tomatoes are far ahead with numerous tomatoes growing. We will have to wait for full production to see if it's really worth the cost and effort but as of July 3 things look really good for the grafted plants!

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sheltieche

Cool! Would love if you share details and sources how did you do it? I am thinking of going grafted next year as I garden on community plot and there is every imaginable fungal and bacterial problem present there. Would help to start with more robust plant I think...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 5:03PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have heard they do grafting for disease resistance only. Is that true or false ?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 10:52PM
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sheltieche

Matching if the root stock and scion seems to be an art and science combo and nobody has a good recipes yet I think. Some combos will produce far more robust plant with increased fruit production. So those stingy hearts with meager but extremely flavorful tomatoes have a chance yet. Choosing rootstock that is resistant to some problems is the main driving force behind grafting though- my initial opinion of the issue.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 9:25AM
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LosAltosGreen(SSz16/USDAz9 CA)

Got 14 Might Mato "Mortgage Lifter" and "Brandywine" plants. Plants are now over 8 ft tall, but, BUT not even 2 fruit set!!

Stay away from these. Plants have thrived, but blossoms just DO NOT set. Also, what fruit I have got to taste so far are pathetic - almost flavorless.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 12:56PM
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tommyk

I have heard the Mighty Mato company does not have good reviews, but can't say if the plants produce since I've never tried them. If the plants are 8' tall you should at least have flowering if not lots of tomatoes forming. We bought our grafting seeds and clips from Johnny's. The price for 50 seeds was around $23! Very pricey. We started half and around 20 germinated. We then started seeds for plants we wanted to graft onto the rootstock, mostly Heirlooms. We went to a workshop and got valuable info there and there is all kinds of info on the web. The grafting is simple, just "marry" the top of the heirloom plant onto the bottom of the rootstock and secure the clip. However, you need specific conditions for the graft to work, moist, humid & warm. We set up a small table top greenhouse and put the plants in them. The only problem we had was grafting when both plants were not big enough. We had a lot of failures but enough to grow. Next time we will wait for the plants to be larger and about the same size each. As posted earlier the plants are very robust, so much so that we have to constantly prune out suckers. They are way ahead of our regular tomato plants and have more tomatoes on them. We won't be able to make a final determination until all plants start producing and just how disease resistant they are compared to our standard ones, especially at the end of the season. So far . . . so good and the plants are definately way ahead of the standard ones.

As far as grafting for disease resistance, that is a big part of it, especially for market growers who use high tunnels but also for in the field. Another big plus is more and longer production than standard tomato plants, especially Heirlooms which most market growers want.

Again we will have to wait for the end of the season to decide if the cost of the seeds are worth the extra effort but we are encouraged!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:05PM
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