Grafting tomatoes

amy_of_pnwOctober 8, 2012

I am ready to try some grafting on my own after trialing a grafted Cherokee Purple (in the ground) from Log House Plants this year. I did not baby the plant and it did great. It grew tons of fruit and is still doing fabulously. The information on grafting looks like it can be done with a little effort. Anyone doing much grafting? Any hints? Any problems?

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Amy, most folks attempt grafting to possibly help with increased tolerance to systemic soilborne diseases, which is tolerance, not resistance.

And yes, I've read the info, quite extensive I'll add, from the Log place where you got your plant and it's the same source for the grafted ones that Territorial started offering a few years ago.

So what did you expect when you bought the plant as to it being better than a non grafted Cherokee Purple plant. I'm just curious.

In addition to any who will answer you here below I've linked to several threads on grafting that were already here at GW and can be accessed by doing a search at the bottom of this first page.

Hope that helps.


Here is a link that might be useful: grafting

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:01AM
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Carolyn, I was hoping for a more vigorous plant, which I got.

I have two garden plots, one at home and a community garden. The community garden has grown great tomato plants and fruit but my home garden has been a struggle and I am not sure why. Perhaps it is because my home is at a higher elevation (800 feet), perhaps the previous owners added something that is not helpful to tomatoes (I know they added some herbicides), or perhaps I have a disease problem. The plants have been small and limited in fruit production.

I planted the grafted tomato at my home garden directly in the soil without cold protection this spring, pruned it to a couple of leaders and it took off. Everyone that has seen the plant asks about it.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Which method do you use? Where do you get the grafting clips?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 1:23PM
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Would 1.5mm or 2mm size clips be better for our use?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 1:36PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

garf, the clips were discussed in some of the links that were within the link I posted above.

Amy herself has not grafted plants, she bought the one Cherokee Purple plant she talked about.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 1:41PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Consider the role of coincidence and the unusual weather in your perceived success this year.

Grafting, and grafted tomato plants, given the associated costs and other problems have very limited applications. It is an expensive "gardening fad" except in geographical areas proven to be heavily infested with one of the few soil borne viral diseases. The PNW is not noted for those issues. Rather the common soil issues of pH, nutrient binding, and the common air borne fungal diseases play a much bigger role there.

Wouldn't your resources, time, and money be better spent on identifying and correcting the real cause of your problems? A soil test and soil amending for example. Especially if you plant large numbers of tomatoes.

If, on the other hand, you only need 2-4 plants then you would be better served by simply buying 2-4 professionally grafted plants and trying to replicate this year's results first. The costs would be far less than investing in the root stock and necessary equipment and the success rate would be much higher.



    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 4:18PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Grafting, and grafted tomato plants, given the associated costs and other problems have very limited applications. It is an expensive "gardening fad" except in geographical areas proven to be heavily infested with one of the few soil borne viral diseases. The PNW is not noted for those issues. Rather the common soil issues of pH, nutrient binding, and the common air borne fungal diseases play a much bigger role there.


Dave, I agree with almost everything you said except you said soilborne viral diseases and I know you meant to say soilborne fungal diseases. All viral diseases with one exception are spread by different insect vectors depending on the specific diseases. The exception being TMV ( tobacco mosaic virus) which is very rare these days, but it's known to be spread mechanically in large commercial greenhouses.

Yes, I also think it's a fad, the blurb at Territorial is over the top, the long blurb at the Log Place is way overhyped , IMO, and it's allowed for many to try grafting, some with success, some not.

The only way to know if a grafted plant has better, vigor, taste and yield is to grow it in the same season in the same place with a non grafted plant of the same variety.

In Australia where grafted plants have been sold for many years one person from there said that the only reason they do is to make more money. ( smile)

Just my opinion as well.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 5:50PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

you meant to say soilborne fungal diseases

Duh! on me - typing faster than I can think again after a long day of mowing hay. Thanks for correcting it Carolyn. :)


    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 6:04PM
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Hmmm, I wasn't expecting the amount of seeming success I had. I had held off buying any grafted plants until this year due to the reports that grafting didn't seem to make that much of a difference in our area. I did grow another non-grafted CP about 6 feet away that was a little guy with only a few tomatoes. I might try another one or two grafted plants again just to see if this was a fluke. I am interested in checking into all causes for my problem and this is an option I have been thinking about for a while.

I have had success some years and not others so the randomness has made it a little harder to figure out. We had a long wet and cool start this year so the tomatoes may have decided to pull back early. To be fair, I did not provide protection to any of the plants in my home garden but I gave the plants in the community garden a hoop cover until about mid June. They became little monsters totally loaded with fruit. Although I am not willing to make any major assumptions as to why, as an example I had five times more Brandywine fruit than I have ever had on a plant.

At least the tomato gods let me have some tomatoes somewhere which makes me happy since I love them so much!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 6:58AM
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Amy, it is not a fluke. A grafted tomato plant that has a good rootstock gets two benefits.

The resulting plant has the soil borne disease tolerance of the rootstock. This is what was alluded to above.

The other benefit is that the scion tends to be as vigorous in growth as the rootstock. I say this carefully because there are some rootstocks that are deliberately selected to reduce vigor in the scion. But if you bought a plant grafted on one of the more vigorous rootstocks like Maxifort, then you would have seen a dramatic increase in canopy size for the resulting plant. A larger leaf canopy has much higher potential to yield fruit.

Unlike the posters above, I am of the opinion that many home gardeners can benefit from grafted tomato plants. A gardener with limited space who wants to maximize production is a primary candidate. A gardener in a marginal climate can benefit from a grafted plant because the enhanced vigor increases the number of fruit that ripen before frost. And of course, any gardener with heavily nematode or disease infested soil should consider grafted plants.

The reason for carefully selecting rootstocks for your climate and soil is because a very vigorous rootstock may cause the plant to stay in the juvenile growth phase longer than your season will support. So where I would use Maxifort in my North Alabama climate, you might be better off with the less vigorous Beaufort which tends to induce earlier flowering.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:32PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Darrel, Amy doesn't have any systemic soilborne diseaes where she is, so it comes down to mainly fungal and bacterial foliage diseases and where grafting is concened with her it comes down to mainly plant vigor.

If anyone is interested I suggest you Google Dr. David Francis at Ohio State University who I think has done the most work with different rootstocks and growing those grafted plants both inside and outside.

I decided to link to a general Google search for him tomakeitmoreaccessible and with a quick look I see he's won two awards recently.


Here is a link that might be useful: Dr. Francis and tomatoes

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 6:53PM
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We had a terrible spring here, wet and cold, that lasted through June, and so I thought there was no point in trying to grow tomatoes as the time was too short for them to ripen. However, at the beginning of July I bought a few of those grafted tomatoes, brandywine and green zebra, and I have never had such a prolific yield!!! I couldn't believe it! Next year I am certainly buying grafted tomatoes again as I certainly got my money's worth.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Hi Eileen,

What nusery did your plants came from? I'd love to know, thanks so much! lorri dk

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:08PM
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I hope to practice grafting this year. I bought a pack of Celebrity seed because, at the price of maxifort, I want to know what I am doing before I start using it!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:57PM
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Hi Everyone,

I live in Zone 10 a few blocks from the ocean. It stays pretty cool here and I have found that growing cherry varieties work best for me. Last year I started growing in Earthboxes and had my best harvest ever.

I have two questions, has anyone grown any of the Grafted Mighty Mato's and if so, what are your thoughts.

Also, I am thinking of pruning to one, two or three stems since my fruit takes forever to ripen because of the cool weather. What are your thoughts?

Here is what I am growing this year by Mighty Mato:

Grafted Bubble Bee Purple
Grafted Carmello
Grafted Sun Sugar
Grafted Pacino
Grafted Blush
Grafted Julie
Grafted Berkeley Tie Dye (I wanted to try it even though it's not a cherry since everyone seems to rave about it. Will do single stem for sure)

From Laurel's Heirloom Tomato: (non-grafted)

Black Cherry
Isis Candy
Gardener's Delight
Snow White
Sweet Baby Girl

Any thoughts any has on pruning to one, two or three stems would be greatly appreciated!



    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 11:14PM
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To the naysayers on grafting: isn't disease resistance and vigor good enough reason to grow grafted varieties? Not to mentioned the ability to grow multiple varieties on one plant, eg the ones from the attached link?

I have a small patio garden going. I have three normal starters and one grafted plant. The grafted plant has noticeably more vigor (height and vegetation) and an over healthier appearance as well as more blossoms. Next year, I'll only be growing the ones from the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: muliple scions on one rootstock

This post was edited by elixir75 on Mon, May 6, 13 at 17:30

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 9:03PM
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I am a certified master gardener and in this area we do apple tree grafting on a yearly basis.
In apples and grapes this is a requirement as you cannot get a definite apple variety from seed and grapes MUST be grown on North American root stock or the plant will die. When it comes to tomatoes I have tried grafting on a limited basis and had success with all 6 plants that I tried. I grew my own rootstock, which is a huge variety and used san marzanos and a small early round variety as top. Yield wise there appeared to be small increase along with a little larger plant as compared with normal grown. I used masking tape as my "clip" and put this down into soil to hold the top. I had wilting for about 3 days before the graft started to take and I see this as relatively easy. However, I do not see any point in this process unless you are a green house grower that has been using a "straight soil" method for some years and it is now loaded with nematodes. In an outdoor garden this is (grafting) not necessary as a 2 years rotation will prevent their build up. Grafting will not do anything for soil fungus such as early blight.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 2:05PM
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Amy, do you know the rootstock of the plant that you grew last year? That would be helpful to know. I checked Log House's website and they didn't really identify what they use as a rootstock.

I have grown RS105 and RS106 from NE seeds and have grafted Arkansas Traveler, Atkinson, Creole, Homestead, Mortgage Lifter, Jersey Devil, Piccolo and Ozark Pink successfully this spring. (It is spring, right?)

I have been getting about 80 - 85% success on the graft, but I think this has a lot to do with how careful I am with the angle of the cut. I am using the silicone clips in both 1.5 and 2 mm

Pictures if you are interested.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 6:39PM
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I don't quite understand. Is this a reply or question?
Anyway, as best as I can.
The rootstock I used is my own creation and from it I can get a 7' high plant. The "cut" is a whip/tounge style graft cut and on a tomato should be about a 60 deg.angle. In order to achieve success you should study a plant xylem as the cambian layer MUST match on both the scion(top) and root (bottom). In other words both parts should be as close as possible in diameter. I simply used a piece of masking tape to hold the two pieces and put soil around it.
If you wish to water proof, simply coat with a soft wax. (toilet bowl ring wax from any hardware store). Again, I don't see much point in grafting unless you have a nematode build up and planting in a new location is an easier answer. I repeat, this process will do nothing against soil based fungus such as early blight nor will it work with late, which is airborne. Immunox/daconil, are the only answers. If this is about yield than you should start with a soil sample taken at 4-6 inch level in ground from at least 3 locations. Every county in the U.S. has an extension service and you can get all you need from them and where to send the sample for testing. There is usually a small fee and do get the test that does C.E.C./base saturation. The C.E.C. is Cation exchange capacity and the base saturation ideals are between 65-85 calcium, 6-12 magneisum, 2-5 potasium. This does not necessariy add up to 100% as there are other minors that are not covered by the test. Take the C.E.C. figure X 10 which equals the amount of fertilizer that can be applied to one acre of ground and adjust to your size of garden. Ex.C.E.C. of 10 = 100lbs. Note: a 50lb bag of 10-10-10 does not contain 10lbs as fertilizer is based on 100lb weight. In other words it takes two bags to get 10lb.
Note also that the middle number is Phophate and that it MUST be tilled in as it does not leach. Ideal Ph is around 6.8 and SOM (soil organic matter) at 5 (or more) as it's the water holding part of soil. If there are any other questions provide an email if specifics are desired.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 10:21AM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Wildbill654 - May I ask why using disease-resistent rootstocks that are ALSO vigorous is not a benefit to growing heirloom tomatoes?

Having just gone through the grafting procedure, it was really quite easy. So I am curious.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:18PM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Maurkio - I am using hybrid Big Beef as rootstocks (just because I have the seeds). I have Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Prudens Purple, Striped German, and Aunt Gerties Gold as scions.

I made the grafts 3 days ago. The scions wilted immediately, but recovered the next day. All are straight up now. I have 18 of 18 that look solid. Grafting is so much easier than I thought it would be.

I found a cheap 4-shelf plant stand with a zippered plastic top "Early Start Greenhouse" for $30 at Lowes and added trays of water on all the lower shelves. Covered the whole thing with a sheet. The grafted tray is on the top shelf, of course.

The results seem great! The plastic cover has condensation all inside (I put a plastic trashbag and a towel below the stand to catch the drips). So the humidity is good. I'll start slowly uncovering the plant stand in 2 days and move it slowly to the sunny deck door.

I can't wait to see if this works as I plant them outside in 3 weeks and compare those to the ungrafted heirloom tomatoes I will plant next to them..

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 12:30AM
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I am putting this here(on your advice) just to see how this works. If I had to explain anything in depth in this format I think I would pass, especially CEC/base saturation. At my age taking rocket science and trying to explain it in simplistic terms requires larger print and full page view, even for a typist.
All I can say is that ALL of the farmers in Denmark did not understand it and consequently they polluted the county's water supply. At present the government has arbitrarily applied quotas.
Understanding soil, it's composition and magnetisim, along with the factors that control and how fertilizers and bacteria fit the picture will allow anyone to achieve optimum plant growth

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:56PM
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gponder(7/South OR)

I have grown grafted heirlooms for the past 5 yrs here in Oregon. I do the grafting myself. I personally do not consider it a "fad". We have a certified organic farm. For rootstock I have used Maxifort, Beufort, RS105 and RS 106. Our increased yields using grafted plants make the process well worth our while. It is really not that diffucult to do.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 3:56PM
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I don't consider it a "fad" either and I believe it actually starts with the Walker Farm in Dummerston, Vt., which is part of the North East Organic Farm Assoc. They had greenhouses in which they were growing the "Buffalo" tomato and did this year after year until they had a nematode build up in the soil. Grafting was the solution. Now, if you can get increased yeilds, good for you. I tried this as an experiment and really did not see much difference but I agree it's not at all diffiicult to do.
I just feel that if you understand your soil, it's magnetic properties and how all it's parts and organisims react and relate, you will get good results. That is - barring severe interactions from mother nature. If you are running under the NOP/CNG programs good for you - that takes work.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 5:05PM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Wildbill - I can well imagine that if one had really superb soil and full sunlight and do regular spraying as you seem to have, there might not be much difference in production between grafted and non-grafted heirloom tomatoes. Unfortunately, while I think my soil is good (from several inches of compost per year) my sunlight is limited by neighbor's trees and I don't use synthetic sprays. So I need any slight growing advantage I can get.

But I am intrigued by a couple of your statements. What did the grafters in Denmark do that polluted the water supply, and what is there about magnetic properties in the soil?

Could you mention more about those please?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:00PM
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cbear I guess I am somewhat old and confusing -
The farmers in Denmark did not understand CEC and base saturation and overfertilized, so much that they polluted the countries water supply. On the magnetic properties of the soil I gave you a little in a previous email. This is a little more detail - albeit, it's still a generalization.:
Soil comes in 3 parts - sand, silt and clay. There are 2 types of sand. One is beach that little grows in and the other is the one for gardeners. It is comprised of mostly residual quartz and quartzite. Quartz has electromagnetic properties and the crystals have been used for radio tuning and watches. These crystals always turn their points toward magnetic North. The ones that make up sand are in granular form. Next we come to silt. Silt is what you can easily find in a stream bed and is comprised of what is called in geology the Feldspars. Primarily they are oxides,sulphides & salts and are minerals that have either been eroded or broken down to granular and less size by natural actions (glaciers,water,banging together,etc). This is the "micro" nutrient supply. You can also get things like lodestone particles which are magnetic iron. The last is clay, which is the result of further degrading of the previous two.
The terms "loam" "sandy" refer to the mix of the 3 parts.
Heavy and light are more literal as heavy means more rocks than soil.
Now I can move on to CEC or cation exchange capacity. That figure you can get with full soil test and it comes with base saturation and usually (SOM) or soil organic matter. Some provide soluble salts and some charge more for that read. It's fertilizer related and usually not a big issue with the home garden. I am going to try to explain (bascially) the CEC/base saturation, but unless you are doing 1K+, it will not mean much.
The CEC number will give you how MUCH nitrogen you can apply. If the # is 10, than it's 10X10=100 lbs per acre. (fertilizer is figured on 100lbs so 100lb of 10-10-10 gets you 10 POUNDS of EACH) So, if you are using 4500 sq.ft growing than you can apply at one time 10% or 2- 50lb bags of 10-10-10 that really give you 10lbs of fertilizer. If you use more it will run off the first time it rains and if it gets into the soil it will DO NOTHING TO MAKE ANYTHING GROW BETTER - THIS IS WHERE THE MAGNETS COME IN. Think of this as there are 100 magnets in the soil with a + charge and you are applying 150 magnets with a -(neg) charge. You will be 50 magnets shy of mates - and that's what this means.
The only thing that changes this figure is the soil organic matter and increasing it usually increase the amount of "magnets".
The next part is Base saturation. again, 3 elements which are calcium,magnesium & potasium. This is effected by Ph and I am using a 6.8-7.0 scale for demo purpose. The Ideal here is 65-85 cal.- 6-12mag and 2.5 pot. It does not usually add up to 100 as there are other parts present (like Hydrogen), but they are not of major importance. Okay, this is still screwy to me yet but basically think of it ping pong balls. The calcium ones being the size of basket balls and you are in a room filled with them over your head. The space between the balls will allow you to breath. Now I put you in the room next door and fill it with marble size and you will choke.
That's the difference between the calcium and magnesium and if you are loaded with the latter the bacteria in the soil will have breathing problems.
It's in the roots is next---
If you have ever looked close at a plant root you may have seen some little "balls" hanging on it. They are nodules and comprised of clay and bacteria and it's that bacteria that converts the NPK into usefull food for the plant and it's all about magnetisim as what's in the clay provides the attractant.

I started with lousy soil. Rocks, rocks and more rocks. 6 years and a few ton of compost, peat moss, sawdust,stove ash, leaves, grass clippings and anything else organic I have the SOM level up to 5 and 5 or + is good
To review - If you are growing just about anything other than spuds (they like it real acid) a Ph of 6.8-70 is an ideal range BECAUSE that is where most nutrients make themselves available in the greatest amount. The base saturation ideal levels are 65-85 calcium, 6-12 magnesium and 2-5 potasium. (If you plant on growing corn in a real windy place, potasium a 6-8 is even better as it make stronger roots)

Please, no critical reviews. I only barely passed chemistry and I am trying to make a complicated subject simple

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:52PM
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To answer why I put a graft down into the soil is because I wanted to increase the size of the root ball. The tomato is natually a vine although we tend to get it to grow more erect via cages/trellis which make them less prone to disease and of course, easier to pick. Roots are important, especially since the NOAA drought map contnues to grow and while this is an observation more than anything else it might be useful to those in dry areas.(do not use this if you are normal to wet)
Your soil - depending on it's make up and where you live will have the majority of nutrients in the first 2-6 inches and it's the reason behind the very old method of setting tomato plants in a "trench" as they can grow additional roots and find more food. However, when things turn dry an alternative is to grow a larger and more vertical ball by transplanting and set them deeper. This has "catch22" and if you do it wrong there will be no benefit.
Your soil also has a natural compaction layer that is usually at 7-10" and it will have few nutrients. You will have to take something like a trenching spade and break this layer up, perhaps mix in some compost and a little (small handfull) of granular fertilizer/manure or whatever nutrient you like.(soil has to be loose for roots to penetrate) Follow this up with some liquid fertilizer(miracle grow,etc) and THAN cover that soil with about 2" of fresh. When you set your plant you DO NOT want the roots to contact the fresh fertilizer as it will burn them. The plant will grow to it's food at it's own pace. The benefit to this is that when you water the plant the liquid has to pass a lot of root and when it hits the lower layer the compaction layer below this tends to retain moisture for a longer period of time and you will not need to water as much.
Please keep in mind that along with the dry weather there has also been high heat and all plants react to temperature. At 90+ tomatos tend to grow more leave rather than fruit as the plant is trying to shade itself. Peppers stop making blossom/fruit - they all use different survival methods.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 9:54AM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Wow, Wildbill... Please forgive me for disagreeing with a Master Gardener. First, putting the graft into the soils is going to cause the grafted rootstock shoots to grow, which you don't want. Second, mild forking of the soil will let added compost get down deeper into the soil without disturbing the microbial composition too much, and you can get more deeper using a post hole digger as you plant seedlings. Third, natural/organic fertilizers will not "burn" plant roots like synthetic ones like the "miracle grow" you seem to approve of. Fourth, raised framed beds to not have the "natural compaction layers" (which can be overcome through rare double digging below the framed bed level). Fifth, I can't find legitimate studies showing benefits of "magnetic" iron. All iron is magnetic of course, but plant benefits of "magnetic" soil (whatever that is) are not demonstrated that I know of (willing to learn).

As a home gardener, I can't really get too concerned with the CEC or base saturation of my few raised beds in the backyard. With almost 200 feet from them to the closest drainage area, through the lawn, any organic nutrients are going to be absorbed by the lawn grass and used long before they can reach any water source. Heck, I stay organic even though it probably never would matter to the immediate or far environment.

I will add that I use my 18" auger drill to randomly get deep below the bottom of my raised framed beds (after using my post-hole digger to get the upper soil out of the way) to make sure there is penetration to the lowest soil levels I can reach.

And there is more I could say but I'll stop just because I don't want to make this too long.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 2:14AM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Now, as to my grafted tomato seedlings...

It hasn't worked as well as I hoped. Of the 24 seedlings, only 8 are fully erect and growing leaves, 4 are erect but not growing yet, 6 are "droopy" but not entirely fallen over, and the rest seem hopelessly fallen. Three days after the grafts, almost all of the scions were erect, so they must have been getting something from the roots. I was VERY surprised when some started falling again.

It could be worse for a first try! But mightn't 1/2 on a first try be a success?

The Cherokee Purple seem to have recovered best, followed by Brandywine. All the Prudens Purple and Aunt Gerties Gold collapsed, but that could be just random on such a small sample. And in fact, I did the Cherokee Purple, then the Brandywine first, so maybe I got a bit careless in the grafting later.

I have moved the growing ones to a slightly sunnier spot and am misting them 4 times per day, the erect ones are in very mild light, the others are staying in humidity tent with some houselight (they need something after a week, right?

Now, because I had to use the grafting clips oddly (the large tube rather than the small clip because I waited too long), I'll have to cut the tubes with a razor blade (VERY CAREFULLY) so the stems can grow.

If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but I tried. And I'll try again (with some slight experience) next year.

Meanwhile, of those grafts that have survived, I will plant them next to an ungrafted seedling of the same variety in the same soil and record the production in pictures.

If the grafts seem to be useful, I will report it. If not, I will report that.

Wish my grafts good luck, LOL! And my ungrafted ones good luck too...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 2:42AM
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As Ben Franklin said - agree to dis-agree and believe whatever you feel is correct. My feelers do not hurt easily. The soil is magnetic and that's how the nutrients get up the xylem. The little nodules that are on all roots are aerobic bacteria and clay with the clay attracting and the bacteria converting minerals into food for the plant.
On putting the scion down into the soil I intended for it to develop roots. I believe I mentioned the old "trench method" of setting? These plants are vines and will develop more roots, and more is better. I can understand what you are saying if you have a nematode problem but in an outdoor environment it's simply solved with site rotation and since the purpose of grafting the plant in most of this discussion is greater yeild, the more roots the merrier. I also grow nicotiana(tobacco) and that is a BIG plant with BIG roots. Corn has two, to both support and provide nutrients.
Yes, organic fertilizers (except maybe ripe chicken) usually are low enough not to burn. They are also un-reliable to release. There is no OMRI certified fungicide that will do anything for early or late blight, at least not that I am aware of. Feel free to follow whatever path you choose as the organic/commericial argument I am not engaging in as I believe it's more about economics. I run with Norman Borlaug - let's feed the place - cheaply.
On the grating end I did not use your method and really have no idea what went wrong. The only thing I can contribute is that these plants cannot be in any strong light for at least 3 days, but they DO need some daylight.
I don't have this down pat and continue to learn - just like everyone else. What I do know I have learned mostly from experiments and many mistakes. I don't see grafting tomatoes as more than a 6 on a scale of 10. Growing your own sweet potato slip at 8 and tobacco is a 10, and I am just talking about getting the plants to grow to transplant.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 3:42PM
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yardenman(z7 MD)


OK, first, it would help if you talked about "soil magnetism", in more detail. We need to understand your thoughts on that better. I know what magnetism is in general but not how it connects to plant growth. But "the soil is magnetic"? I have some trouble understanding that.

My understanding on phloem and xylem is pretty standard, but a bit different from you. I don't have any problem with water and sugars moving around a tree through xylem and phloem, but I'm not seeing where "Magnetism" is involved.

"Clay with the clay attracting"? You lost me there.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 1:50AM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Well, anyway, I have 6 healthy grafted heirloom tomatoes (2 Cherokee Purple, 2 Brandywine, 1 Striped German, and 1 Aunt Gerties Gold). I put them under the lights 2 days ago and they are responding well. All have several healthy leaves on the scions. I will cut the silicon collars off tomorrow. They live or die on their own after that.

If they don't, I have more than enough heirloom seedlings to plant as usual and 2 Big Beef hybrids as back ups.

As a first try at grafting, I think it went well. 25% of the grafts worked. I learned a few things and can sure do it better next time. And I will do this again with what I learned this time.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:38AM
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