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Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

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Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  martha on 2/2/2014, 2:37 pm

I'm giving serious consideration to trying this year. If I make it past the initial stages, my biggest concern is that I think it requires constant, vigilant pruning. I'll re-read the articles several more times before I dive in, but I think that was an across the board statement, not just relating to one type of root stock.

Has anyone done it themselves? Successes? Failures? Thoughts?

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  camprn on 2/2/2014, 2:42 pm

I have not tried it. I have a friend who does tomato grafting each year with tremendous commercial success. On the Forum I know there are a few previous thread from past members about their experiences.

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  martha on 2/2/2014, 2:46 pm

I did a search, but only came up with three topics. Maybe I'll have to try again.

So if your friend has had commercial success, presumably s/he has a lot of experience. As you know, Camp, I'm not a rookie, but I'm sure not a pro, either!

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  dvelten on 2/2/2014, 4:50 pm

Martha,

I have not tried making my own grafts, but I did try planting purchased plants last year, as documented in one of the threads you might have found in your search. I was not impressed by the results in my SFG, but commercial greenhouse growers do use grafted plants in large quantities. Besides the replies on my thread on this forum, I also have additional comments on my garden blog.


--Dave

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  martha on 2/3/2014, 3:15 pm

Dave, did you end up with any Gilbertie tomatoes? How were they?

There are two dots I hadn't connected - the need to keep the graft site above ground, resulting in the inability to plant deep. Hmmm....maybe I will try a very few. I've been wanting to try this from seeds, rather than order the grafted plants. It will allow me more options on what tomatoes to work with, as well as the largest advantage - I'm a glutton for punishment!

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re: has anyone here tried grating tomato plants

Post  Boz on 2/3/2014, 4:01 pm

I tried to graft some last year and was unsuccessful. If I were to try again I would leave them in the high humidity for 10 or more days.

I did buy a grafted Cherokee Purple plant, it wound up being the smallest and least productive plant in my garden. Not sure what happened but I would not buy another one.

After thinking about the reasons for grafting and realizing that none of them apply to me. I will not consider doing it again.

Some one having problems with soil borne diseases might consider doing it but if you don't have the problem why fix it.

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  martha on 2/3/2014, 4:51 pm

Well, as a matter of fact.....

I have had Fusarium and/or Verticulum wilt, possibly Septoria wilt, and blight, which of course, heirloom varieties are particularly susceptible. 

Does sound like grafting for home gardeners might not be quite ready for prime time.

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  plantoid on 2/3/2014, 5:18 pm

@martha wrote:I'm giving serious consideration to trying this year. If I make it past the initial stages, my biggest concern is that I think it requires constant, vigilant pruning. I'll re-read the articles several more times before I dive in, but I think that was an across the board statement, not just relating to one type of root stock.

Has anyone done it themselves? Successes? Failures? Thoughts?


 Martha,
Which way round will you graft ?

Small plants on to big beefsteak root stocks , so that you get tremendous amounts of small tomatoes
or
Big toms onto small rootstocks so you get fewer and /or smaller toms with the flavours and colours of the big tomatoes ?


Though it may not run like that at all ..

I offer that you ought to  keep very detailed notes , you might have winners & losers big time .. the notes should help you replicate the successes.

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  martha on 2/3/2014, 9:18 pm

Plantoid, most of the tomatoes I grow are baseball size or smaller. 

Here is my main source of info (so far!):

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/grafting-tomatoes

"Johnny’s offers organic seeds of the variety ‘Estamino’. It’s a “generative” type rootstock, which means it puts more energy into fruit production rather than plant growth. The drawback is it doesn’t handle stress as well as the “vegetative” types, such as ‘Maxifort’, a standard for many growers because of its exceptional growth and durability."

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  dvelten on 2/3/2014, 9:30 pm

Martha,

The three grafted plants I purchased were Big Beef, Juliet and Cherokee Purple. None did well, in general and compared to an ungrafted control. Of course, it was a tough year for tomatoes for me, but at least we ducked the late blight. I did grow a couple of Gilberties I started from seed. If you want grafted Giberties, or any other uncommonly grown variety, then doing your own grafting is the only way to go. It can't hurt to try.

If you want disease resistance, then you have to use a special rootstock that was bred for resistance and vigor. The seeds are expensive and some sources like Johnny's only sell large quantities. High Mowing sells the Estamino seed in a quantity of 10 for about $12. Hope you have a steady hand with that razor blade. Also note that some rootstock like Maxifort and Beaufort are Monsanto products.

Check out the Tomatoville site, lots of grafting activity by their members. Some have been using Juliet as rootstock, since it is vigorous and has pretty good disease resistance.

--Dave

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  martha on 2/3/2014, 10:05 pm

frustration 
I hadn't yet realized that some rootstock comes from The Evil One. And although I have gotten far enough in my research to realize the seeds are expensive, I hadn't gotten as far as knowing or guessing that of course you would have to buy in large quantities. 

Le sigh.

How were your Giberties? Are they delicious?

Off to check out your suggestions.

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  martha on 2/3/2014, 10:08 pm

Quote from Johnny's regarding Maxifort - "Disease resistance is not transferred to the scion plant."


Am I missing something?????

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  plantoid on 2/4/2014, 12:23 pm

Doubt it Martha, to me it makes sense that disease resistance is a whole plant  not a grafted cutting. the disease resistance will be in the whole pant DNA  tacking on a cutting that already has it's own DNA wouldn't do much to my mind

I gather that selective breeding .. chemicals and genetic engineering are what change the DNA strings.

When we graft things we use the root stock to provide the rate & quality of nutrients to the cuttings we are attaching it does not change the traits of the cuttings.  Thats why we can get six different apple types on the same tree or 20 different colours/ shaped roses on a fancy display standard  rose.

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  martha on 4/28/2014, 10:31 pm

I figured it out, Plantoid. The disease resistance is to soil born pathogens, so the idea is to keep the scion from touching the soil, or Mel's Mix in our case. 

Kind of a no-brainer, but sometimes, after working my really long weeks, I'm a no-brainer!

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Re: Has anyone here tried grafting tomato plants?

Post  martha on 5/7/2014, 3:42 pm

I'm into the experimenting stage. I've grafted probably 15, out of 50 root stock seedlings. I have lost 10 to "learning the hard way". So far, I have one that lived a week or two until I let it dry out, but once it died, I looked at it, and it had healed!

Now I'm experimenting with what and how much to feed them to help them heal, recover and thrive. I did one on Sunday, one yesterday and three today. So far so good!

Also, I did invest in this tool from Johnny's, and I think it makes a huge difference. This, silicone clips and a magnifying glass so you can see the graft, and make sure the two plants are actually lined up!

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-9086-miter-cut-grafting-knife.aspx

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