Two seasons ago I had great luck with grafted JapaneseTrifele Black tomatoes - last season was a killer here weatherwise and plantwise but I can't find the same plants for the upcoming season. Can someone recommend another best grafted one - Territorial has them but not grafted.
It's very easy to graft tomatos any time they are actively growing. Approach or bottle grafting works best on fleshy stems like these. The link below gives a good explanation of approach grafting. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/propagation/approachgraft/approach.html
The difference between approach and bottle grafting is that in approach grafting both plants are on their own roots. Bottle grafting is the same procedure except that the shoot is in a container of water rather than on its own roots. In the case of tomatos it's more a sales gimmick than practical. It's simpler to just plant the variety you want and let it grow on its own. An exception may be where you have a soil borne disease or pest like nematodes and you want a rootstock that is resistant to them.
This practice started with greenhouse growers raising heirloom varieties on more robust tomato root stock to increase productiveness (and profits). Johnny's Select Seeds sells the grafting clips (in various sizes) that we've used. Each part of the plant is still affected by whatever disease it normally would be or that your soil may be harboring. I don't have enough experience to swear it's worth the time, effort and care it takes to get the grafted plant up to speed for garden production. In my case I have to start seeds of both the root stock and scion cultivars, match the stem sizes, perform the graft, monitor and protect until the graft takes, then grow out to transplant size. I just haven't taken the time or space to conduct a side by side trial. Your county extension agent should be able to suggest cultivars that might work in your area.
I am SO glad somebody ELSE brought up grafting tomatoes this year! I've brought it up for two years, trying to get a group of people to try it and also do a control group in thier garden. Last year I bought root stock seed and clamps but a sick child goofed up my timing. I may try this year if I get plants started early enough...
I was going to buy four plants from TT and the clips ans seed for the root stock. After talking to a market gardener I cancelled my plants and forgot the notion of grafting my own. He said I will never grow those again.He said maybe they will grow better in the mid West or South where there is real heat and high tunnels. He grows in greenhouses but we run out of growing time here long before those in big heat country. Our growing season is very short. Because of this we can't get the extra production. So unless your trying for disease resistance better to just stick to regular plants.
It reminds me of fruit trees, grapes and roses. The main difference being that these grow for years but tomatoes, even tho they are technically short lived perennials, are grown as annuals. It seems like a lot of cost and work. I wonder if the yield is that much better?