Grafting Tomatoes

MinnesotaGardening

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This spring I will be trying grafting tomatoes. I've never done it before and have a few questions. Also, if you have done it before and have some advice, I'm all ears. I usually get a surplus of a huge variety of wonderful tomatoes, but am very curious to see what kind of difference having a resistant rootstock can have on production. I have some slightly bothersome viral pests that I am looking to mitigate, which I normally deal with using appropriate pruning and watering. So really, this is just one more excuse to work closely with my beautiful seedlings! :woot

My questions so far:
1) Some rootstock varieties mention difficulty achieving balance (of what?) and being more vegetatively or fruiting inclined. Since I'm in a short season, should I go for a rootstock that puts less emphasis on vegetative growth?
2) Does anyone who has grafted have any recommendations about what worked best for them? (I realize the virus/issue you are dealing with makes a difference.)
3) Do I really need to buy a fancy propagation chamber, or can I MacGyver it?
4) Does the seed source for the rootstock matter in your experience for a hybrid? Some websites are much cheaper than, for example, Johnnys.
 

Ridgerunner

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I know nothing about the rootstock. Totally Sargent Schultz on that.

I have tried bud grafting and whip grafting on trees, not tomatoes. Bud grafting never worked for me, I had very limited success with whip grafting. The professionals love bud grafting, obviously I did not know what I was doing. I had maybe a 20% success with whip grafting, not all that great, but after I bought some grafting tape instead of trying to McGyver it. My first attempts were total failures.

My suggestion is to watch a lot of U-tube and see what the professions do. Try different methods, several of them, to see what works best for you. And try several grafts on the same plant to see if one takes. And mark which is your graft so you can tell it from another bud. I used colored zip ties to keep track of where they were and the colors told me what they were.

I probably have grafting tape left over. If you want it send me a message.
 

digitS'

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If she hasn't drifted off, @catjac1975 showed an interest in trying this in 2012 (LINK). @baymule and @so lucky , too! I'd think that they would have told us about it if they did try. Maybe you can recruit them as partners ;).

@Greenthumb18 made that dream move from a northern clime to a warmer place and out in the country. He must have become very busy with his acreage after that and stopped posting.

I remember @Greensage45 from waaay back and it seemed that he did things like this. He was in southern New Mexico but liked propagating in his winter greenhouse. One day, he was rather flippant with another gardener and a TEG moderator, who is also not around now, jumped on him. He was so upset that he went back and deleted much of what he had posted.

Johnny's sells grafting supplies.

The grafting may be above most of our experiences but there are some who do cloning. @valley ranch, for one.

Steve
off to prep some soil for dropping some tomato and eggplant seed today :D
 

MinnesotaGardening

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I know nothing about the rootstock. Totally Sargent Schultz on that.

I have tried bud grafting and whip grafting on trees, not tomatoes. Bud grafting never worked for me, I had very limited success with whip grafting. The professionals love bud grafting, obviously I did not know what I was doing. I had maybe a 20% success with whip grafting, not all that great, but after I bought some grafting tape instead of trying to McGyver it. My first attempts were total failures.

My suggestion is to watch a lot of U-tube and see what the professions do. Try different methods, several of them, to see what works best for you. And try several grafts on the same plant to see if one takes. And mark which is your graft so you can tell it from another bud. I used colored zip ties to keep track of where they were and the colors told me what they were.

I probably have grafting tape left over. If you want it send me a message.
Grafting trees seems intimidating to me!

I have read up about it a bit, and it is basically decapitating the whole tomato plant fairly low on the stem and clipping on the decapitated head of another tomato plant (the one you want fruit from). The plants cant be buried too deep, though, because from what I read if the grafted tomato develops roots then the resistance from the rootstock is lost. I already bought clips for grafting, but thank you for the offer!
 

MinnesotaGardening

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If she hasn't drifted off, @catjac1975 showed an interest in trying this in 2012 (LINK). @baymule and @so lucky , too! I'd think that they would have told us about it if they did try. Maybe you can recruit them as partners ;).

@Greenthumb18 made that dream move from a northern clime to a warmer place and out in the country. He must have become very busy with his acreage after that and stopped posting.

I remember @Greensage45 from waaay back and it seemed that he did things like this. He was in southern New Mexico but liked propagating in his winter greenhouse. One day, he was rather flippant with another gardener and a TEG moderator, who is also not around now, jumped on him. He was so upset that he went back and deleted much of what he had posted.

Johnny's sells grafting supplies.

The grafting may be above most of our experiences but there are some who do cloning. @valley ranch, for one.

Steve
off to prep some soil for dropping some tomato and eggplant seed today :D
Thanks for tagging people, maybe someone in the know will see this post!
 

Zeedman

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Never tried grafting tomatoes, but I remember someone on another forum questioning whether you could use the root stock of a closely related species. After perfecting the grafting technique with other tomatoes, it might be interesting to try litchi tomato as a root stock. It has an incredibly strong root system, a lot of disease tolerance, and might transfer some of its frost tolerance. Currant tomato might also be a good root stock. Might even try that myself, once I retire... it could be an interesting experiment.
 
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