Tomatoes are Here!
cultivation of grafted vegetable plants began in Korea and
Japan at the end of the 1920s. Today, produce growers worldwide
are adopting the use of grafted tomato stock, particularly
in Asia, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. And now their
popularity is rapidly growing in North America.
benefits of grafted tomatoes:
Increased tomato production, 4-5 times the fruit of standard
2. Extreme vigor for improved quality of fruit and a superior
3. Increased disease resistance including early and late
blight and blossom end rot.
4. Greater resistance to soil borne pathogens and nematodes.
5. Increased harvests over a longer period of time.
6. Tolerance to environmental stresses like extreme temperatures
or poor soils.
The result is a tomato plant that is a true performer. Perhaps
most important in our maritime climate, is their hearty rootstock,
braving the weather better than their non-grafted counterparts.
is the practice of attaching the stem of one plant, onto
the rootstock of a different plant in an effort to improve
its overall performance and health. This is a common practice
in the fruit industry, and can be applied to vegetables with
similar results. By grafting, a tomato can be selected by
the quality and taste of its fruit which then can be grafted
onto a rootstock with a more vigorous habit and superior
tomato selection features
grafted tomato varieties by SuperNaturals "Mighty ’Mato" and Ezra’s
Organics both produced in Oregon. SuperNaturals plans
to offer other grafted vegetables, such as eggplant, peppers
and squash soon. Ezra’s Organics is currently the only
certified organic producer of grafted tomatoes, with the
widest selection of unique heirloom, open pollinated, and
hybrid grafted tomatoes available today.
Because grafted tomatoes are grown a bit differently, we have put together a few planting tips for you. Follow these instructions (especially the first one) for grafted tomato success.
with the graft above the soil line:
is the single most important planting tip! Make sure that the
graft line (small scar across the stem at the base of the
plant) is kept above the soil line. Soil
should never be placed above this line or new roots will form
from the grafted variety, bypassing the beneficial rootstock
it’s attached to. Normally we recommend planting regular tomatoes
quite deeply but, in order to ensure the benefits of the graft,
you must not bury the graft line when planting (see photo at
the planting hole with organic amendments: Before planting
your grafted tomato, be sure to fortify the soil by
adding in your favorite organic amendments and fertilizers. We
recommend using Dr Earth organic Tomato, Vegetable and Herb fertilizer
with beneficial soil microbes as well as Gardner & Bloomes
Harvest Supreme compost. By enriching your garden soil your tomato
growth will be exponential! Grafted tomatoes are heavy feeders,
so be sure to apply regular applications of
organic fertilizers throughout the growing season.
and support them right away:
Grafted tomato plants
can grow up to 30% larger than regular tomatoes, so strong
support is vital. Use a large stake, tomato cage
or support system around your plant. The average cone-shaped
cage will not be enough to hold these plants up by harvest
time. If possible, use stakes that are at least 8
feet tall and 2 inches in diameter. Install your support system right after you transplant
your starts. This is to prevent root
damage. As soon as a tomato is planted, it begins shooting
out new roots horizontally across the soil. If you wait a
few weeks to drive stakes into the ground around your start,
you run a high risk of damaging those new roots. So, stake
those tomatoes early using strong, sturdy supports.
Prune any lower branches keeping them away from the ground.
These lower branches can root, effectively losing the benefit
of the graft.
If you are planting these in containers,
use one that a soil volume of at least 20 gallons. Grafted
root systems are 4-5 times larger than the average tomato.
This contributes to its superior performance by enhancing nutrient
and water uptake and fueling accelerated plant growth and fruit
production. Remember, larger the plant, larger the root system
and grafted tomatoes have enormous root systems! If you grow
them in a smaller pot you will not reap the benefits of growing
a grafted tomato.
more information on growing grafted tomatoes, please check out