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Old March 1, 2018   #16
Harry Cabluck
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Estamino rootstock was a waste of time and money, sickly and diseased-looking plants this year and last. Having somewhat better luck with SuperNatural. Hope to go back to Maxifort in 2019.
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Old March 2, 2018   #17
Gardeneer
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Hi ,Bill. Good luck and thanks for sharing.
Me, did not , am not attempting to graft, mostly due to lack of resurces. Also my last year,s grow results were free of any root borne problems.
I,ve started my seeds 1rst of Feb. They are doing fine under light. 3 to 4 more weeks untill plant out time. In 2 to 3 weeks I will srart hardening off. At night they will sleep in the garage.
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Old March 3, 2018   #18
b54red
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Hi ,Bill. Good luck and thanks for sharing.
Me, did not , am not attempting to graft, mostly due to lack of resurces. Also my last year,s grow results were free of any root borne problems.
I,ve started my seeds 1rst of Feb. They are doing fine under light. 3 to 4 more weeks untill plant out time. In 2 to 3 weeks I will srart hardening off. At night they will sleep in the garage.
Congratulations on having soil that isn't burdened with soil born illnesses. Maybe you are far enough north to avoid those problems in your garden. They sure do complicate the growing of several crops.

I enjoy the grafting process but I would certainly not go to all that trouble if I didn't have severe soil born diseases. It is a lot of work and as far as I can see only a few varieties actually do much better as a result of being grafted. I am grafting a few varieties I haven't grown for years like Kosovo, Grub's Mystery Green, Fish Lake Oxheart, and Omar's Lebanese. I'm not a fan of the taste and texture of Omar's Lebanese but I have never grafted it and would like to see if a the grafted plant still can produce those montrous tomatoes that I used to get from it.

It looked like perfect weather to plant out last week and it may have been safe to do so but I kept watch on my tulip poplar and it hadn't opened up at all so I waited even though days were in the upper 70s to mid 80s and nights in the 60s and 70s. It suddenly dropped into the low 40s last night and the prediction is for low to mid 30s by late in the week. Even if we don't get a bad frost or a freeze the cold nights would retard the growth of tomatoes set out that early. Besides I like to harden my grafted plants off for longer before setting them out in the spring winds.

I now have three batches of grafts hardening off and four batches in the healing chambers as of a few minutes ago when I finished grafting my latest batch. If I don't have major failures of my last few batches I will have a lot of extra grafted plants this spring. I am going to set out more plants than normal this spring due to the total loss of my late summer and fall tomatoes to TYLCV last season. I hope the hard freezes killed off the whiteflies that brought that new blight up to us last year because I sure miss those good home grown tomatoes in the fall.

Bill
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Old March 10, 2018   #19
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I've decided to wait until the end of the week to set out my first plants for a couple of reasons. First my tulip poplar is just starting to open some of its buds which means I would be planting earlier than usual for that critical indicator for me. Second the weather forecast is for four nights in the 30s starting Monday night with Wednesday night forecast of 33 meaning the danger of frost damage would be really high. Third reason is my plants though healed and hardened off adequately are still fairly small and may not handle the high winds we are having right now. My last reason is after 40 years of growing tomatoes the advantages of setting plants out a bit too early are just not that great. I have found that over the years it has usually worked out much better to wait another week when in doubt about a plant out date.

I was planning to set out a bed of tomatoes today and then another one in a week or so but I think I will just wait and get the second bed ready and plant them both at the end of the week.

The last couple of batches of grafts did not succeed at nearly the high rate of the first few so I guess that incredible run of luck ran out.

Bill
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Old March 10, 2018   #20
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We ended up making plans last weekend so all my scheduled seed starting activities were postponed to today.

I now have five egg cartons full of Ultra-Sorb DE with one DRO141TX rootstock seed in each cup hanging out on the dining room table. As soon as I see elbows, I'll do the same with my scion seed.

Still hemming and hawing on a final grow list, but time is running out...
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Old March 12, 2018   #21
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So glad I waited. The wind was howling this morning and still is so my little grafted seedlings would have taken a tremendous beating. It is so windy today that I may not even set the trays of plants out on the somewhat protected patio.

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Old March 12, 2018   #22
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Bill, good luck with grafting and plant out. You are early bu 2 weeks from. I will start hadening off in about 3 days. And will take it from there watching the forecasts.
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Old March 13, 2018   #23
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I actually have three flats of grafted tomato plants that are hardened off and ready to go in the garden but I'm sure glad I waited. Not only was the wind terrible yesterday the forecast is for 32 tomorrow night with little or no wind so there could be a major frost. The frost last week where it only got down to 35 or 36 severely burned a 10 inch tall volunteer tomato. I hate not getting my Brandywine type tomatoes out the first week of March because they always do so much better when set out that early but with the weather not cooperating they will just have to go out this weekend.

Bill
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Old May 1, 2018   #24
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I am so behind schedule this year! Today ended up being Grafting Day, about four weeks later than I intended...

A total of 56 plants have gone through surgery and are now in post-op ICU on the coffee table. I stayed with the same process as last year and starting the root stock earlier worked beautifully. I was able to make grafts much higher than last year which will allow me to plant out deep and still keep the graft site well above the soil line.

I'm thinking the up-potting stage will need to be abandoned this year and they'll go from the small pots right into the ground...assuming they survive the next week or two.

I hope everyone else who is grafting this year is having good results!
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Old May 1, 2018   #25
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My first 125 grafting attempts had a 100% success rate. I have rarely had 100% success with 25 attempts. I guess the weather, temperature, seedling size, and my grafting all worked for a while. How things changed in my next 125 attempts. My success rate dropped to just under 20%. I just started my seed for my late summer and fall plants. I hope I can improve my current success rate a bit when I attempt grafting them.

Bill
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Old May 1, 2018   #26
Hervey
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This year was my second attempt. Both years I did a test batch of which all died. Last year, two of the real attempts lived. This year, I did twice as many, and still only two survived my gauntlet of death.

I am working with a simple 1020 tray and a dome. I thought things were going better this year, but for me the hardest part is the end of the healing. With a heating mat underneath, the soil begins to dry out. If I bottom water, it adds a ton of humidity which seems to inhibit the weaning process. Difficult to get that very gradual reduction in humidity with my rudimentary controls.
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Old May 1, 2018   #27
jtjmartin
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I have just about all the grafted tomatoes I intended to grow. But, there are always a few others . . .

This year, I have some fairly big RST plants left. I'm going to try to side graft those. It looks like healing time would be shorter. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Jeff
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Old May 2, 2018   #28
Harry Cabluck
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Hervey, Sorry for your graft failures. Just keep on working at it, and try to learn from any mistakes. This was the worst year, ever, for grafting here. Hoping to go back to Maxifort or 106 rootstock next year.
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Old May 2, 2018   #29
b54red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Cabluck View Post
Estamino rootstock was a waste of time and money, sickly and diseased-looking plants this year and last. Having somewhat better luck with SuperNatural. Hope to go back to Maxifort in 2019.
I never had sickly or diseased plants with Estamino; in fact I found it superior to Maxifort and Multifort for most scions. The only weakness I saw with it was no protection from bacterial wilt but the others don't have that either. Maxifort doesn't work too well for me because I now have all three races of fusarium in my soil and it is only resistant to two of them and it has a tendency to be too vegetative. I found the same vegetative problem with Multifort. The plants were huge and healthy looking but I spent more time pruning than picking tomatoes. I think that Estamino is a little less vegetative than either Multifort or Maxifort so I liked it a lot other than the lack of bacterial wilt resistance.

I like the RST-04-106 the best because I found it affected the growth of the scion less than the other three root stocks. It seems less vegetative than all of them also and I like a slightly smaller plant that doesn't require quite as much upkeep. From what I can tell just anecdotally it does seem to have a slightly less vigorous root system and the fruit might average a bit smaller than with the other three. However with most scions I get far more fruit and slightly earlier fruit with the RST; but there are exceptions. There are some scions that do much better with one or all of the other three root stocks mentioned but overall with the varieties I grow I prefer the RST.

Bill
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Old May 3, 2018   #30
Father'sDaughter
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Quote:
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This year was my second attempt. Both years I did a test batch of which all died. Last year, two of the real attempts lived. This year, I did twice as many, and still only two survived my gauntlet of death.



I am working with a simple 1020 tray and a dome. I thought things were going better this year, but for me the hardest part is the end of the healing. With a heating mat underneath, the soil begins to dry out. If I bottom water, it adds a ton of humidity which seems to inhibit the weaning process. Difficult to get that very gradual reduction in humidity with my rudimentary controls.


Sorry to hear you're having difficulties. Maybe tell us what method you're using and we might be able to help you pin down the problem(s).

Also, I'm wondering why you're using a heat mat. The grafted plants seem to be happier in a cooler environment -- you want very slow root growth while the graft heals. And ideally you do want to maintain high humidity, but you shouldn't water at all until you're at the point where the dome comes off completely. I'm thinking ditching the heat mat should be step one towards better results.
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