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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #76
beetkvass
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Also, can anyone remind of what kind of light exposure the grafted plants need once I graft them and put them in a healing chamber?

I seem to recall hearing total darkness. But then I was thinking I'd read others talking about light exposure here as well. I'm currently reading through old threads so might run into this later. But thought I should just throw some of my questions out here while I'm working through the thread. I hope no one minds.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #77
jtjmartin
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Hey Beet:

I'm sure Bill will log on and answer himself. But so you don't worry too much Bill said somewhere in the thread: "I start all my seed in fine DE and when they are large enough to graft I pull the rootstock out and pull off most of the roots."

When I first started to graft, I kept a log of everything Bill said. I just looked back the other day to see if I couldn't harden off my grafts to normal humidity a little quicker. I have my first batch of grafts in the healing chamber now.

As to fertilizer, some people use diluted TTF (Texas Tomato Food, I think). I dilute whatever I have on hand - from Miracle grow to fish fertilizer.

Jeff
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #78
jtjmartin
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Bill:

I've read and reread your guidance numerous times. Can you shed more light on how you transplant a healed graft from being in DE to being in potting soil. Do you knock off most of the DE sticking to the roots, or just leave it as is?

Thanks!

Jeff
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #79
jtjmartin
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I know Bill has said before that he often places the healing chamber inside in a shady place.

Some online grafting videos show the grower tucking all the grafts under the potting bench for a few days in really low light conditions.

I usually cover mine with a towel for the first 24 hour and then allow room light in over the next few days. As the lid comes off, the plants get a little more light.

I think that decreasing humidity and increasing light probably goes hand in hand.

One year, sunlight got in through the window and really wilted the plants in the healing chamber - could have been the light, heat or both.

Jeff
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #80
b54red
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Sorry I haven't posted sooner but we were having some work done on the house that was way past due and I haven't been doing much grafting because of poor germination of seeds this year. It got extremely hot in the greenhouse due to losing the partial shade from my 37 year old tree that got blown onto my shed during the hurricane. I finally got some aluminet shade cloth and have the greenhouse wrapped in that and it seems to be helping the heat problem and hopefully I will be getting better germination from my seeds.

I just spent a few hours grafting what seedlings I had today. I close up the healing chamber, put it under a shelf and put a towel over it for at least 24 hours. Third day I will open it for 30 minutes or so and let in some fresh air re-mist the top and seal it back up and then crack the lid for the next couple of days as long as I don't get sudden wilting when I do. It is also at this point that I move them into more light but no direct sunlight until the graft is healed.

The sudden wilting is far more of a problem when it is too hot than when it is too cool and that is why my first two batches only had about 50% success rate this year when it is usually nearer 100% this time of the year. It got way too hot in my greenhouse and I didn't take them somewhere cooler soon enough. I usually open them and give them a little drink of fertilizer water somewhere between the 5th and 7th day and completely remove the top. This is all dependent upon how well the plants look. If when I do take off the top if the plants are badly wilting after an hour or so I will mist the top and seal them in for an hour or so to help them recover if they can and then crack the lid again and wait a day or two more before removing it. However if I see any signs of damping off at the base or the graft joint I will remove that plant and open the lid and hope for the best.

When the plants are obviously growing well and have been placed in direct sunlight outside for a day or two then I can re-pot them into potting soil or just leave them in the DE. If you leave them in the DE then make sure to not let them dry out too much as the DE if it gets totally dry can even suck moisture out of the plant. I make sure to let them harden off for a good long time allowing them to wilt a bit once or twice to encourage root growth. If they remained in the DE then water them well before planting out in the garden so the roots remain intact and they are easier to plant.

Out of my first two batches of approximately 24 plants each I got less than 23 to survive the grafting and healing process. I am hoping my third batch did better as they didn't get so overly hot and have been in the healing chamber for 5 days and most look like they will make it but I'll wait and see. I only did about 15 today and will have to wait at least a week for more seedlings to get large enough to handle.

At the rate I am going I don't think I will have too many extras this year to give away.
I sure hope NE seeds gets some more 106 seeds soon or I will have to use some of the others that have worked okay in the past like Estamino or Multifort. I talked to them a week or so ago and they were hoping to get some in the next few weeks. If they do I will be ordering 500 just in case they don't have them again next year.

Good luck with your grafting everyone.

Bill
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #81
DonDuck
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Bill,


Did you make it through the tornado's okay? Some folks on the forum are concerned about you since you live in Alabama.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #82
bower
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Hey Bill, Glad to see you posted last night so were not affected by those tornadoes. Yikes.!!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #83
beetkvass
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I'm so sorry your first two batches haven't gone as well as usual, Bill. I'm also hoping y'all are ok from those tornadoes!

I'm excited to hear NE Seeds might get some more of the RST-04-106 seeds in again soon. I think I got that number right. I'm using what I have of those plus some RST-04-105 and today I also started some DRO141TX I had on hand. But that only covers 2 races of F and I'm not sure what all I actually have.

I'm so nervous about trying to actually graft. I'd love to get a green house some day like Bill. Mind if I ask what you have, Bill? I have teen boys who can help so what I often end up doing is starting trays that we just take outside on the deck each day and bring inside at night. I have grow lights but not remotely enough for what I start.

I've got tomato plants coming up here. But it's too soon to actually graft. I also ordered some of that Texas Tomato Food. Thanks for that, jtjmartin! The root stock I started in the DE is coming up kind of patchy. Out of 40 I started only 25 are up so far and they started coming up a week ago.

Now I just need to figure out how to prevent Early Blight before I manage to get things planted out. None of the grafting will prevent that if I understand what I'm doing correctly.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #84
b54red
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Thanks for the concern everyone. The tornadoes didn't set down anywhere near me but the sirens sure went off and we were under a threat for an hour or so.

beet: My greenhouse was made of clear ridged fiberglass nearly 40 years ago and didn't cost much at all. It is attached to the southwest corner of my house so it gets a lot of sun especially since I lost the tree that gave me afternoon shade. It isn't much but it usually gets the job done. If I had it to do over again now I would use something that is better insulated so the temperature inside would be easier to control especially in the summer heat. If I was making a small greenhouse attached like this again I would use some type of double wall stuff. It would cost a lot but I think it would be worth it in the long run. I use a small air conditioner almost continuously once the temps get into the seventies if it is sunny. I have also added aluminet shade cloth to help with the heat.

Bill
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Old 1 Week Ago   #85
jtjmartin
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Looks like NE Seeds has RST-04-106 available again.

Jeff
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Old 5 Days Ago   #86
beetkvass
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Well I did some of my first grafting today. I'm not that hopeful. I had issues with my plants. The root stock I started in DE have taken forever to grow. My plants are just so patchy in growth and germination. I had a horrible time matching things up, finding enough root stock and scion the right size. I'm not sure how perfect it needs to be in stem size.

And before I had even finished grafting a dozen plants the first ones were already wilting! I hope they recover. I have them in a healing chamber in the basement right now. I'll try again in a week or two with more plants. I just don't get why I'm having such erratic germination. Things were so off I don't even know where to start again with starting more seeds.

So, did I make a mistake in starting root stock in DE? I think we waited too long to fertilize what was started in the DE and that's why they've grown so slow. Maybe I'll start it all in potting soil next time and then only put in the DE when I graft them.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #87
jtjmartin
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Beet:

I'm surrounded by my grafts in various stages of healing: fully potted, totally out of chambers in DE under grow lights, in a mostly open healing chamber and finally my emergency healing chamber.

I'm still surprised and in tomato awe that you can cut the bottom off one plant and stick it on to the bottom of another!

You've got to see what works for your conditions and experiment. I start my seeds in soil but plant the newly grafted plants in DE. So far . . . knock on wood, fingers crossed, Oh, L_rd hear my prayer! . . . under 10% loss. I am using much thinner razor blades this year - I think that is helping.

This year I sowed 4 times as much scion seed than before so that really helped.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #88
vincep
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I have tried grafting some plants the last few years with limited success. This years grafting has been almost 100% success, it's the first year I have used TTT fertilizer on the plants post grafting. I"m not sure if it's the TTT or just more experience, used Estimino and RST-04-105-T for rootstock.
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Old 2 Hours Ago   #89
beetkvass
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Ok, so my plants aren't dead yet though two look pretty wilty. My problem is the skewers in the pots have mold on them. Not the green algae like stuff but actually mold. I'm guessing I need to get them acclimated to out of the healing chamber quicker but I'm not sure how. I don't want to lose my plants to mold. What can I do?

We waited till the 2nd day and tried opening it 5 min and 5 min more each day. They are about a week old so old now. How quickly can I acclimate them? It's a really nice temp today outside. I have a covered porch. How long can I leave this open and how do I know when I need to close it back up? Thanks!
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Old 1 Hour Ago   #90
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How are you using "skewers"? Are they holding plastic up off the plants, like a little tent, or are they supporting your plants? I had a little make-shift healing chamber last year with plastic wrapped around the tray and propped up off the plants with wooden chopsticks. The chopsticks started molding, but they were far enough away from the plants that I didn't worry too much about it.

If they are close to the plants and you can pull them (even just one at a time), you could just wipe them down with a 10% bleach solution and that should avert the problem. But be careful not to jostle your grafted plants. If it isn't too bad and you should have them out of the healing chamber soon, I wouldn't mess with it.

For weaning them off the healing chamber, I actually like to just slowly open the healing chamber a little bit at a time each day so that humidity drops slowly over time. I had mine out and back under the lights by the 8th day last year, but a couple might have benefited from another day or 2 of high humidity. Also, I turned my fan off for the first few days under the lights so that it wouldn't add to the drying. With all the seedlings and the plants being in my basement, humidity was generally pretty high so that helped.

This year I'm trying grafting in 1020 trays with high plastic domes as my healing chamber, but I'm a bit worried since the domes don't fit too well and I'm not sure if it will stay humid enough. I grafted the first batch this morning before work and didn't have time to check on them before leaving. Hopefully they're doing okay.
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