Grafted Tomatoes and Vegetables
Grafted tomatoes and vegetables are becoming much more widely available.
Fruit trees, roses, ornamental trees and difficult to propagate shrub varieties have been grafted for years. But vegetable plants that are grafted may seem new and novel.
Not a bit of it! Grafted tomatoes have been the norm for many commercial tomato growers for years!
And now they are available to you and me!
So what are the advantages?
Well very much heavier yield is a pretty convincing one!
But the inherent pest and disease resistance that the root stock brings is a very strong factor too.
So how much heavier yields do they bring? Up to 70% bigger crop is claimed and that is certainly not to be sniffed at!
These vigorous healthy growing plants have been available for several years now but you may have to seek them out.
I first saw these in the fab large vegetable and cut flower garden created by BBC Radio Bristol’s garden expert Mary Payne in 2010. By July these plants in her show garden were head high and loaded with delicious looking fruit!
Uncommon they might have been then but I recall actually being taught to graft tomatoes with razor blades at Pershore College of Horticulture back in the 1970s!
So, as with many things, there is nothing much new in this world!
The benefit of root stocks
Root stocks will give you strong and healthy plants!
If you have been growing tomatoes, peppers or cucumbers in your greenhouse for several years the inbuilt pest and disease resistance these root stocks have is very good news for you!
That’s because the roots on these grafted tomatoes and vegetables have a very high tolerance or even resistance to very widespread soil borne pests and diseases!
These problems inevitably build up in soil where the same plant is grown year after year. You might not notice the gradual decline over the years but when you plant these you will be sure to see the difference!
Changing the soil for fresh stuff or trying to sterilize your soil used to be the answer but now simply planting a grafted plant is the solution.
Grown to show
Whether your soil is contaminated or not these new grafted veg have got to be ‘worth a shot’. Those plants that I saw at Hampton Court in 2010 were certainly not in disease ridden soil.
But they were better than any tomato, pepper, chilli, cucumber or aubergine crop that I had seen in a very, very long time!
I have blogged about other varieties of tomatoes in annual trials and you might like to read more about that here.
Look out for varieties of grafted tomatoes, chillies, red pepper, aubergine and mini fruited cucumber on sale.
Do give them a try as I’m confident that they will perform well for you!
Has this whetted your appetite to grow more fresh tasty grafted tomatoes and vegetables or indeed any vegetables?
I’ve written about grafted plants in general here.
Thanks to Suttons Seeds for providing me with the closeup pics of grafted young plants.