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Old 10-31-2013, 01:24 PM   #1
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Default Grafted tomatoes: worth the trouble?

Grafted tomatoes: worth the trouble?
Frowing For Market
By Lynn Byczynski

Grafted tomatoes: worth the trouble? - Growing for Market
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This promises to be the year that tomato grafting reaches the mainstream, with the options for rootstocks increasing and some companies selling grafted plants. Grafting vegetables is nothing new — it’s been practiced in Asia since the 1920s — but it’s still relatively uncommon in the United States. Growing for Market published an article about grafting in 2008, and we have been watching interest grow quickly. But there still are many growers who question its value, given the fact that seeds for the tomato rootstock cost as much as 44 cents each.

So we decided to look into the economics of grafting tomatoes to help growers determine when the expense and labor are worth the results. We turned to Cary Rivard, a new vegetable Extension specialist at Kansas State University. Dr. Rivard’s graduate work at North Carolina State University focused on tomato grafting. He has been presenting workshops about grafting this winter, and his presentation is the basis of this article. We also talked to Andrew Mefferd, who is responsible for the tomato trials at Johnny’s Selected Seeds research farm in Maine.
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Mefferd is convinced that the 50% greater yields being seen in grafted tomato production make it well worth the cost.
“What’s harder, grafting tomato plants or tilling up 50% more ground?” Mefferd said. Choose a rootstock variety that is resistant to the diseases found on your farm…
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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Default Grafted tomatoes

Grafted tomatoes
GardenSmart

GardenSmart :: ARTICLES :: Grafted Tomatoes
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“Why would anyone want to pay the price to grow a grafted tomato plant?” was my initial reaction to the newest vegetable rage with home gardeners. Then a South Carolina summer hit hard and my tomatoes drooped low down. For the first time I have what I consider a crop failure, except for one tough plant.

Some gardener friends and I spent a lovely day on the “other” side of Columbia last spring visiting garden centers we seldom get to from our area. One of these friends, Mary, noticed grafted tomato plants for sale. They were not the .99 apiece kind or even the $4.99 apiece with tomatoes already set kind. They were very pricey. These were on the short side of $10 apiece for a normal size bedding plant. When she put one in her basket, I said, “There is no way I am paying $10 for a tomato plant.”

A couple weeks later, my seed-grown tomato plants were looking puny, in fact the worst I had ever grown. Granted, I had started them late so the heat had caught them way too early. Mary called to say her grafted plant had set tomatoes and looked great so she was going back across town for more. “Do you want any?” Well, after all, I do prefer being on the cutting edge of vegetable growing technology, so, “OK, get me one plant…
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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Default Grafted vs. non-grafted tomatoes: What’s the difference?

Grafted vs. non-grafted tomatoes: What’s the difference?
Published on Fri, May 10, 2013
by Judy English

Grafted vs. non-grafted tomatoes: What?s the difference? :: Sequim Gazette
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Commercial tomato growers have been using grafted tomato plants for years, and over the past two years grafted tomatoes have become more popular with home gardeners. Many nurseries now offer multiple varieties of grafted as well as non-grafted tomato plants.

Influenced by the coastal waters and mountains, summer in northwestern Washington is moderate and beautiful. Growing and ripening tasty tomatoes, however, can be a challenge.

In many Northwest gardens, tomatoes are grown in a hoop house or other protective structure. Frequently there is little or no rotation of crops, increasing the chance of…
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:27 PM   #4
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Default The Great Tomato Debate: Grafted or Non-Grafted?

The Great Tomato Debate: Grafted or Non-Grafted?
Neighborhood Notes

The Great Tomato Debate: Grafted or Non-Grafted? | Neighborhood Notes
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With those successes in mind, a local grower, Log House Plants, began introducing grafted tomatoes into the retail market. This year, they hit pay dirt. The plants flew off the retailers’ shelves even though they carried a hefty price tag—three times the cost of a regular tomato.

After a year of standing by, watching the action, fielding questions from clients and talking to people in the nursery business, I have to admit I was as curious as I was skeptical. So, I set up my own less than clinical but credible experiment. I bought two tomato plants of the same variety, an heirloom tomato named “brandywine”, one grafted and the other non-grafted. I planted them side by side in an amended bed with the same exposure to sun and the same watering patterns and stood back and waited…
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
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Default Grafted versus non grafted tomatoes

Grafted versus non grafted tomatoes
Kitchen Garden

Kitchen Garden - View topic - Grafted versus non grafted tomatoes.
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This year I purchased a couple of grafted tomatoes just to see if it was worth the extra cost. I actually took a sideshoot from the grafted tomato to root - it took well and I planted same stock in the greenhouse border, in fertile soil with rootgrow around the roots. The grafted one performed quite well but the same stock ungrafted in the greenhouse border performed much better and the fruit was larger in both quantity and size ! The ungrafted one is still giving me ripe fruits with quite a few still green to make some chutney it outlasted the grafted one which seemed to exhast itselsf sooner.

I also bought a couple of grafted chilli peppers. The grafted chilli peppers produced very well quantity-wise, lots of fruits, plenty, all ripened, but not as long as my ungrafted ones but unlike the tomato I did not have any of exactly the same stock ungrafted to make comparisons, so that is a job for next year !

Wondering what others thought of their grafted toms etc…
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:12 PM   #6
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Looks like a gimmick to me....
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They're claiming the main reason to "graft tomatoes is to avoid soilborne diseases. The rootstock should have resistance to the common diseases on your farm that would normally shorten the life of tomato plants or reduce their vigor and yield" yet.... resistance doesn't = immunity and.... grafting isn't gonna do anything about the bacterial and fungal diseases floating around... if anything.... the grafted plants could be harboring foliage diseases... like early or late blight.... that could be spread to uninfected plants. For the price of 3 grafted tomato plants at about $10 each plus shipping and handling.... we could have 15+ packs of tomato seed we could grow ourselves.
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Another thing... "bigger" isn't always better. Catch this from 1 of the above links... "The grafted plant was about (remember this is not a clinical study) 20 percent bigger and fuller than the non-grafted tomato, which is both a blessing and a curse because current grooming protocol calls for pruning the side shoots (the unproductive greenery) from tomatoes to focus the plants on fruit not leaf production. This meant I spent at least 20 percent more time pruning the grafted plant and, frankly, in early September, I gave up keeping up….The sizes of fruit from the grafted tomato were all approximately 30 percent bigger than those from the regular brandywine with thinner skin….But, here’s the most important outcome…taste. Taste testing the fruit with a few brave gourmands, picked simultaneously and hauled into the kitchen and eaten without accompaniment, the non-grafted brandywine tomato won hands down. TA DA! The grafted brandywine’s taste was diluted and watery in comparison. It lacked that wee bit of acidity we all crave in a fresh, sun warmed tomato and the texture in contrast, was mushy."
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