This year I am going to try grafting tomatoes. I am not totally convinced that it will be worth doing in the end, but it’s something I’ve read a lot about and wanted to try. Basically the idea is that you grow a very disease resistant and vigorous variety for the roots and a desirable fruiting variety for the top. This is very common – almost exclusively done for fruit trees, but is only recently becoming popular for tomatoes. The reason I’m not convinced yet is that there is significant extra effort and cost involved in getting a grafted plant growing so this year I am going to do a small trial to see how much effort there is and how well it works. The rootstock seed is very expensive. But apparently it can give very good results for heirloom tomatoes which otherwise have very little disease resistance.
So, in the picture I am showing some successfully grafted plants. I did a trial with some extra seed I had from years past to make sure I knew what I was doing. I didn’t want to fail miserably with the expensive seed. Looks like it worked. I think it was basically 4 out of 5 successful. Nothing special here though – the variety on the top is the same as the bottom. Just a couple days ago though I started the seed for the real trial. It’s early for even hoophouse tomatoes, but the grafting sets them back at least a couple of weeks so I thought I should get them going.