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Old March 26, 2019   #91
Scooty
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Why skewers? Are you top grafting? side grafting?

I use grafting clips and usually have 90-100% success.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zendog View Post
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.
Does your high dome look like the one I linked? Does it have ventilation holes?
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Old March 26, 2019   #92
zendog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooty View Post
Why skewers? Are you top grafting? side grafting?

I use grafting clips and usually have 90-100% success.



Does your high dome look like the one I linked? Does it have ventilation holes?
Yes, the exact same ones. Since I used plastic propped up off the plants with wooden chopsticks last year I was able to totally seal the plants, but there is a bit of a gap were the humidity dome meets the tray. It slips down in place, but just bulges out a little along the side. I guess I can slide the whole thing into a big trash bag for a few days if I see wilting.

I use the same type of clips, except in the 2mm size and had similar results last year. This year my schedule has been crazy and some of the plants are a bit larger, so I wish I had some 2.5mm on hand as well but I'll make the 2mm work. I think the plants actually graft better as smaller plants before the stems start to get a little woodier, but that ship has sailed...

I am grafting higher on the rootstocks this year, which is another variable I'm unsure of. I expect it doesn't have any effect, but we'll see. Last year I grafted just below the cotyledons on the rootstock and we had such a wet muddy spring I had to keep clipping off roots from the scion before they undid all the effort of grafting. Hopefully even getting the scion an inch higher will help.
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Old March 26, 2019   #93
beetkvass
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Thank you both. I was just using skewers for support next to a few plants that were floppy. They were floppy before grafting basically. I didn't have a fan going on them when I started them and I think that's why someone were sort of bent or C shaped if that makes sense.

I'll try wiping the skewers off with a bleach solution. I'm thinking it sounds like we needed to expose to air sooner. The notes I wrote from the beginning of the main grafting thread said to start at 5 min a day of exposure and add 5 min more a day. But at the time I wondered how that was supposed to work out. It didn't seem to add up. I'm at day 7 or 8 here already. At this rate it would take forever!
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Old March 26, 2019   #94
jtjmartin
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High humidity allows for healing AND promotes plant disease. The balance seems to be to push the new grafts until they start to wilt - then raise the humidity. Similar to hardening off.

This year, I've pushed my new grafts harder and have had more success. After a full day in a plastic tote, I start opening the top.

Any grafts that wilt much sooner than others I transfer to a smaller nursing chamber. They get more humidity. They transfer back in to the main healing chamber once they look better. (Most of them end up successful.)

Meanwhile, the main healing chamber grafts continue to harden off faster.

Jeff
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Old March 26, 2019   #95
jtjmartin
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I've got two experiments running this year since I have more than enough grafts to plant:

1) I'm trying to graft onto rootstock that is still in their 6-pack. No root trimming, no DE. I have the first batch healing now. One thing is for certain: it is much easier to get the same angle of cut on scion and rootstock when they are laying right next to each other using the DE method.

I'll try a little grafting tool on the next batch to see if that helps.

2) I grew some extra RST-04-106 plants last year and saved seed. I germinated some of that seed this year and I'm testing it as rootstock. I'll see if the seeds continue to provide some resistance to bacterial wilt.

Jeff
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Old March 27, 2019   #96
beetkvass
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Thanks for that info on pushing the grafts harder. I'll try that with my new batch for sure. We fertilized the plants yesterday and things are looking a lot better. When do you start fertilizing your grafts, jtjmartin?

I only grafted 11 plants due to not enough the right size at the time. But so far 6 look really good and are growing, 3 are a little wilty, and 2 are a lot wilty. Those last two have been wilty for a while. I'm surprised they just keep on holding on regardless. I was hoping for at least 50% success my first year. I know that's not a lot. But I'm seriously just amazed we can do this at all!

I look forward to hearing how your experiments work out, jtjmartin.
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Old March 27, 2019   #97
jtjmartin
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Beet:

I fertilize with dilute fertilizer as soon as they come out of the chamber. That also corresponds with when the grafts first need to be watered. I believe that is what Bill calls for too.

I think your results are similar to my first year. Practice helps so much so don't give up.

I just got home from a 2 day trip - it looks like my grafts with the six-pack rootstock are about your first year percentages. I'll make some changes to the next batch and see if that helps.

"I'm surprised they just keep on holding on regardless."
Exactly! I think this all the time.

Jeff
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Old April 3, 2019   #98
beetkvass
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I ended up losing one more grafted tomato. But I have another healing chamber full and they are all looking good so far. However when I transplanted my grafted plants I was shocked at how the roots were almost non existent. I'm not sure what in the world was wrong. But every last one of them had barely any roots to speak of? Could it be the DE?
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Old April 3, 2019   #99
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I'm not sure if it is the DE or not, but I don't do anything special with my rootstocks myself. I first saw the idea of planting in DE referenced here but am not sure if I understand what the benefit is.

I sow them in regular 6 packs (the size that fits 72 cells to a tray) in potting soil just like I start all my tomatoes and I leave them in the 6 packs and just graft right onto them in their original cells. It is a little tricky not bumping the others off. Basically I take all the 6 packs out of the 1020 tray, graft to them one at a time putting them back into the tray as each 6 pack is done.

I definitely loose a few to the awkwardness, but probably more to just bumping them as I take the humidity dome on and off. So far probably 95% look pretty good 6 days after grafting, but I definitely baby them. They had the humidity domes propped up slightly yesterday and got 2 hours under the lights. Today they had an hour or so this morning with the domes off (with no direct light on them) and are currently getting 4 hours under the lights with the domes propped up about an inch over the trays. The little vents at the top were opened and have been open ever since the 3rd day. I'll admit I'm just stumbling through it and might be able to acclimatize them faster.



If all goes well I'd like to have the domes off completely and them getting a full 15 hours of light a day within the next few days. But there is definitely a chance that some may be still wilty and I might try to pull those out of the cells to put them in a fresh 6-pack where I can continue to nurse them along separately. To be honest it probably depends if it is a variety that I've only got one or 2 for. If I have "extras" of a given variety, I'll probably loose patience and just see if they can make it with the others.
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Old April 8, 2019   #100
zendog
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As of 2 days ago, my grafted tomatoes were completely out from under the domes and in all day light. I'll probably start hardening them off later this week. I only lost 7 out of about 125 plants, so I'm very happy with the survival rate. I did have some scions start sending out roots, but I think that has stopped now that they are uncovered and in lower humidity.

Since I grafted high this year, above the cotyledons, the rootstocks that didn't heal with the scion will sprout new tops so I could let them grow a bit and grab a piece from the top of one of my plants and try to regraft. I'm not sure I'll make the effort, but it is nice to have that safety net if the failure rate is higher. Last year I rooted the rootstock tops and kept those going as a safety.

I'm always amazed how sometimes when I don't get the alignment quite right, if there is enough contact they can still heal together and survive. Here's one of the surprise survivors.

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Old April 8, 2019   #101
jtjmartin
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Zendog:

That's a great success rate! They look really healthy.

Jeff
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Old April 9, 2019   #102
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The reason I use the medium grade DE when I put my newly grafted plants into the healing chambers is because it reduces the incidences of damping off in the healing chamber. In grafting early in the year success is usually much easier than later when temps and humidity are much higher in my area and damping off type problems are more prevalent. Before I started potting my new grafts into wet DE to go into the healing chambers my success rate was much lower due to damping off problems. I even put a layer of dry DE on top before placing the finished grafted seedling in the healing chamber and that also seems to help some. Usually a week or so after the plants come out of the chamber I will re-pot them into potting soil before hardening them off. Sometimes I just leave them in the DE for hardening them off but it is so much more likely to spill out if they tip over and it is actually harder to get them out of the cups for transplanting into the garden.

Bill
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Old May 9, 2019   #103
strawbaleking
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Hi, everyone. Thanks to Bill, I got into grafting due to fusarium.
However, I have a problem. I used RST 106 and Estimino. All my plants grafted well (this was after 4 months of practice...) and looked very good up until close to plant out.
Not sure how to pick out the problem here, but here goes.
After I gave a first dose of Kelp( I didn't use Kelp before) most of them dropped leaves, got brown tips, and looked bad, I lost many of them. I didn't not use the kelp full strength. So not sure what happened. They were about to start getting time outside.
Many of the Estimino though, look ok esp Margaret Curtain and German Johnson. Most of the RST-106 were the ones that did the worst.
Grey Mold in the house maybe?
Did they get Verticillum and RST does not have that tolerance but Estimino does?
I could use some feedback dearly. Thanks all for your help.
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Old May 9, 2019   #104
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I forgot to mention I live in California and never had Vert before only Fusarium. And my "grow room" inside house wasn't used as such until this year and all pots and mixes were brand new. I kept fan on low and heated up room every morning for a bit. They got mix window light and LED tube lighting. Been using Peters fert half strength for weeks. Maybe they needed a fert flush from buildup?
Ug. I.AM.SO.BUMMED.
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Old May 9, 2019   #105
zendog
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Wow, sorry to hear your grafted plants struggled. I can't really diagnose from what you said, but I think you might be on to something with the possibility of too much ferts building up, particularly if you are mostly bottom watering so not flushing the pots at all. Did you happen to pull any out of the pots and check the roots? Also, had they been repotted and had a good amount of root room or still in smaller pots/cells?

From my limited experience it seems like 106 is one of the least vigorous of the rootstocks, which is great for most things for me since I don't need monster plants, just the disease resistance. But that might mean it is using up the ferts less which would be a possible reason those suffered more. But all of that is really just conjecture.

Really sorry to hear your plants are having issues. I know when you graft and put all that energy into them it is even harder when they don't go as planned.
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