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Old March 11, 2019   #1
Fred Hempel
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Default Grafted tomatoes in 2019

A few years ago "some were saying" that grafting was soon going to be standard practice, particularly for growing heirlooms. Increased disease resistance and vigor were given as reasons that soon everyone was going to be converted over to grafting or buying grafted plants.

In 2019, in your area, is grafting common? I'm curious.
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Old March 11, 2019   #2
Salsacharley
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I don't know any grower in my area who grafts their plants.
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Old March 11, 2019   #3
mikemansker
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I grafted for a couple of years, and maybe I wasn't very good at it, but many of the grafted plants didn't survive the process. Of the ones that did, I wasn't really able to tell a dramatic difference between those and nongrafted plants as far as vigor or disease resistance was concerned.

There are no local growers that offer grafted plants here. I just see them offered on web sites at sky high prices.
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Old March 11, 2019   #4
jtjmartin
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I graft because of bacterial wilt.

I have not seen any grafted plants for sale in my area (Hampton Roads, VA). I drive quite a bit throughout the state for business . . . and pull over at garden centers . . . have not seen grafted plants anywhere.

Jeff
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Old March 11, 2019   #5
Father'sDaughter
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Grafting is standard practice in my garden because I was sick of watching my plants turn bright yellow by July, then quickly go to brown and crispy after producing just two or three ripe fruit. Grafting keeps them healthy all through the season and producing well into September.

Whenever I mention that I graft all my tomato plants to other gardeners, I just get a puzzled look.
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Old October 1, 2019   #6
rick9748
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Looking for best suggestions on root stock. Main focus on Cherokee Purple and Carbon.
Location hot and humid South Carolina. July, August, Sep. 95+s frequent afternoon thunder storms.
Problems all forms of foliar disease due to constant high humidity and Root Knot Nematodes.
Any suggestions as to type of root stock and or plant management will be appreciated.
Thanks
Rick
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Old October 1, 2019   #7
tryno12
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All I know is that when I see the yellow leaves starting, I start spraying every night or 2 with bleach spray and start picking leaves off for rest of season - works for me - no grafts and plants produce and outrun the decease (whatever it is) till they are done producing. The indeterminates and heirlooms for the most part respond well to the bleach spray and last easily through the season and still going strong as we speak with very few yellow leaves.
Pete
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Old October 1, 2019   #8
rick9748
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Live in hot and humid South Carolina. Today 95*. July, August, and now September daily highs 95+s with max humidity. I also have major problem with Root Knot Nematodes.
Had 4 Cherokee Purples this year 2 are still going, did very well. Bought from Totally Tomatoes. Have had limited success with grafting. Have read or viewed methods from many diff. sources.
Do you have any helpful hints on grafting methods and what Root Stocks would you suggest??
Any help appreciated.
Thanks
Rick P.
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Old October 7, 2019   #9
b54red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick9748 View Post
Live in hot and humid South Carolina. Today 95*. July, August, and now September daily highs 95+s with max humidity. I also have major problem with Root Knot Nematodes.
Had 4 Cherokee Purples this year 2 are still going, did very well. Bought from Totally Tomatoes. Have had limited success with grafting. Have read or viewed methods from many diff. sources.
Do you have any helpful hints on grafting methods and what Root Stocks would you suggest??
Any help appreciated.
Thanks
Rick P.
Go to NE Seeds and get the RST-04-106-T root stock. Sometimes I have limited success with grafting also. I buy the pack of 500 seeds and just do a lot of grafts and hope for the best. Some years I have plenty to give away to friends and relatives and other years I have barely enough survive the grafting for my garden. It is best to start very early in the year. I usually start my first seeds for grafting in late December and keep planting the seed for grafting right on until it gets too hot for successful grafting.

I know it is really frustrating to spend hours and hours carefully grafting and then the constant care of the healing chamber only to have most or all of them die on you. By buying the seed at the bulk rate then the cost of the loses is not nearly as high as when you only buy a small packet of root stock seed. I have had one or two years where it seemed I could do no wrong with the grafting and then the very next year have one failure after another. I do my grafting in a small greenhouse and the temps can change dramatically according to the weather we are having and that affects my grafting success a great deal.

The only other solution to solving the problems of fusarium, BW, and RKN is to use those near bullet proof hybrids that have little if any taste. I would rather stop growing tomatoes than grow those things. As a matter of fact I was on the verge of quitting tomatoes entirely when someone sent me some extra root stock seed and I had a few survive the grafting. The results were amazing. I loved getting to eat my favorite heirlooms right through our interminable summers of disease and blights. No root stock is going to help with foliage diseases or insects other than the fact that a healthy plant with healthy roots doesn't fall prey to them as severely.

Good Luck.
Bill

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Old March 11, 2019   #10
zendog
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Like Jeff, I'm in VA and after grafting last year and seeing all of them survive while ungrafted mostly died (as they had in past years), I can't imagine not doing it now. I think how valuable it is for you depends on the disease pressure in the area.

Of plants I grow for my local PTA plant sale, I hope to have about 50 grafted plants and will have them priced at double vs. ungrafted. It will be interesting to see if people are willing to pay the extra. I hope so, since it is a lot more work than just raising regular seedlings!
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Old March 12, 2019   #11
zipcode
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Pretty much unheard of, more used like an experiment. Soil diseases are liberally treated with Thiophanat-methyl, so no one cares about grafting.
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Old March 12, 2019   #12
Greatgardens
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It's such a pain, at least to me. I'd much rather start a few hybrids like Big Beef and Celebrity and Orange Wellington. Also adding Damsel and Stellar this year.
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Old March 12, 2019   #13
jtjmartin
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Great gardens:

I thought what a pain it was again this year: wouldn’t it be nice to just plant seed? But BW took out all my Big Beef last year and most of my other hybrids.
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Old March 12, 2019   #14
Patapsco Mike
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I saw grafted tomatoes for sale for $10 each at Home Depot in Ellicott City Maryland two years ago. I hadn't read much about it and wasn't willing to pay that crazy price. Little did I know I'd be grafting my own two years later!
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Old March 21, 2019   #15
Scooty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatgardens View Post
It's such a pain, at least to me. I'd much rather start a few hybrids like Big Beef and Celebrity and Orange Wellington. Also adding Damsel and Stellar this year.
This. It's a trouble because of greater time allotment required and whether you're selling or doing for your own garden, you need to factor in graft failures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patapsco Mike View Post
I saw grafted tomatoes for sale for $10 each at Home Depot in Ellicott City Maryland two years ago. I hadn't read much about it and wasn't willing to pay that crazy price. Little did I know I'd be grafting my own two years later!
Part of the problem is that it's hard to put a value on grafting, because there's so little guarantee. Your growing microclimate, the years weather, watering, sunlight already make yields so variable that people have a hard time attributing a year's success specifically to grafting, even when it is a huge or the major reason for that year's success.

It's different for people that require grafting in area's with high disease pressure. They can't even expect a mater to survive to 2 feet without a graft.

It's much like organic (by that I mean resource investment). What is the price point at which an organic tomato is worth it's price? Would you be willing to pay 70% more? 50%? 40%? 30%

I'd ask the same about grafted tomato. For say a 20% boost in yield, more consistent yield, and or better disease resistance, what would you be willing to pay?
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