Friday, August 10, 2012
Grafting Tomato Plants
One of the big problems with growing heirloom tomatoes is their lack of resistance to root diseases and nematodes. Grafting an heirloom variety on to a vigorous disease-resistant root stock not only gives the plant resistance to these disease, it can also lead to earlier fruiting and larger fruit as well. You can buy grafted tomatoes out of state (although right now plugs of a tomato graft called 'Might-Mato" are being sold by a California plug grower and may start showing up at retail nurseries here soon) , or you can try your hand at grafting your own. Tomato grafting usually requires a greenhouse, but you might be able to get results in a plastic tented area under shade-cloth. Here are some videos and links that will help you get started:
North Carolina State pamphlet on tomato grafting.
University of Connecticut IPM tomato grafting webpage.
Betterheirlooms.com (sells tomato grafting kits)
Article on tomato grafting on "The Atlantic" magazine website.