Ever since Territorial Seeds started selling them, and the place that does the grafting for them also has a website as well, there have been threads at the several message sites I go to about them.
You live in MI, you don't have any significant soilborne diseases such as Fusarium and so many more, your problem are the fungal and bacterial foliage diseases. Rootstocks are used to hopefully increase tolerance to the soilborne diseases.
So I don't think they would be of any major use to you.
IMO and that of some others, the claims made by Territorial, from their supplier, are over the top and not to be believed, and then look at the cost.
Dr. David Francis of Ohio State U has done lots of research on various rootstocks and he feels that if home growers want to do their own grafting, which isn't all that easy, that the well known variety Celebrity F1 is just fine as a rootstock.
I thought about grafting untill I did the math. Clips cost $14.00 and the seeds for the root stock$25.00 That will buy a lot of seeds or even starter plants . Now even using cleb seeds for root stock it's not worth my time.
Johnny's has the clips and a good territorial but it's kinda hard to find.I had to call and have them help me find it.
Now, these are being promoted in Canada.
I note that there are always high profile seed companies marketing these.
The curve the marketers are throwing up here is:-
that this is a way of increasing production of heirloom tomatoes.
I also note the prices for these grafted plants is much higher than ordinary tomatoe plants.
Sorry,but I am a bit of a cynic.
I am in disbelief that this grafting of tomatoes is happening, honestly. I dunno, why does it seem necessary? What's wrong with REAL tomato plants?
You grow what grows in your area, and forget weirdnesses.
Consider me, too, a cynic.
Is this some kind of green geek going mad?
The older I get, the more I am inclined to watch others do the experimenting and spend the money. For me, I get pleasure with my Heirloom tomatoes. The fun is working with each growing season, with all that it brings, and ending up with some major successes and let's don't forget, the failures!
It may be. But it's a hybrid. So if you like it, Your stuck buying it.
Where as a CP is a heritage, so you can save the seeds.
Another strong rootstock for me is a German Queen.
Most of your potato leaved tomato plants have a strong root system.
There are probably lots of heirloom tomatoes with good strong roots.
Thanks for noting another one.
I'll be looking and comparing root stocks on my own as I transplant them.
I am of the mind that a strong root is more the result of good cultural practices than
a characteristic of any variety.
Scott, I mentioned Celebrity F1 as one that Dr, David Francis suggested, in a post above.
All one has to do is to buy a pack of seeds of that hybrid to get lots of plants that could serve as rootstock.
Again, the major tomato diseases are the foliage diseases, grafting is done primarily for soil borne diseases, and all the rootstock varieties that are sold have no genes that will help with the foliage diseases, and that for one simple fact, that there are no good genes known that impart tolerances to the foliage diseases.
Those who live in the northern states don't have that much problem with soilborne diseaes, but many in the south do have such problems.
And it's tolerance, not resistance, that's the word, since no variety is totally resistant to ANY tomato disease.
Mad- if the plant is used for root stock your not going to be able to save the seeds from it. Different types are grafted to the root stock. Just like fruit trees and roses which live a lot longer so would be worth the extra cost. When they say "root stock" they aren't talking about what it looks like but what diseases it's tolerant to. Anyway the RS isn't the plant that's actually grown, those are the ones that are grafted to the RS.
I am trying grafted plants this year mainly out of curosity. I saw an offer for a tray of grafted plants from Harris Seed company earlier and I bit. I have relatives in south Florida who would love to grow heirlooms but have root knot nematodes to deal with. I think this may be an answer for many folks down south with soil borne diseases that make growing heirlooms difficult. For me, I would like to compare plant vigor and tomato production and will do that by growing the ungrafted heirloom plant side by side with the grafted variety. If grafting is able to marry disease resistance and improved production with the fantastic flavors and variety of heirlooms, I am all for it.
We shall wait and see how these turn out.
Here in the north I do not see any need for them.
I think it is mainly a marketing ploy to get us off our heirlooms,
and donate to the large seed companies who promote these.
1lisac, I know the seeds from the grafted plant won't work. But you can grow CP's by itself. If only long enough to get some seeds.
And no, a root stock doesn't actually share its genes, But the grafted plant benefits from the stronger more resistant root system.
Of coarse CP's,and German Queens, Produce large strong root systems here in S.GA. But other areas may differ. Just food for thought. :)
The varieties I will be growing are Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Mr Stipey, Old German and San Marzano. I will not have results for a few months, of course. The blurb at Harris Seed is " All varieties are grafted onto high-performing rootstock with robust disease resistance that allows for higher yields, better fruit quality, and less need for crop inputs. Rootstock is resistant to Leaf mold fulva (A-E), Fusarium Wilt (1,2), Fusarium Crown Rot, Powdery Mildew, Verticilium Wilt, and Root Knot Nematode. "
Folks over at Tomatoville are doing some grafting with very poor results, so this may not be something us home growers will be very successful at doing, or least there will be a large learning curve until success.
I can't find exactly where on Tomatoville I found this quote, I think it is interesting.
"I visited the grafted-tomato production facility of Plug Connection in San Diego this week. They have an awesome business.
It was mind-blowing, and the wholesale price of the grafted plants is dropping with their efficient set-up (below $2/plant when 100-plug trays are purchased).
It looks to me like using grafted plants will be standard operating procedure for greenhouse growers and growers in humid areas in the very near future. The price is already well-worth it for many growers already -- even large ones.
It really also hit home for me that grafting represents the best way to marry disease resistance and vigor with flavor. It is also clear that the "best" root-stock varieties are extremely valuable.
I brought home grafted Blush, Pink Bumble Bee and Purple Bumble Bee to plant along side my seedlings of these varieties. "
I have been growing some of them, sort of. I grow Brandywine, Cowlicks and Indian Stripe instead of Cherokee Purple. I grew Old German last year for the first time. I have never grown Mr Stipey and am not a fan of San Marzano. I did not choose the varieties, Harris did. What I am doing this year is growing the same variety next to the grafted version. I think that side-by-side comparison will give me some good information.
Unfortunately, I really don't know. A family member became gravely ill, and I was unable to sample many of the 200 varieties I grew last year up at the family farm. I was going to give it a fair evaluation this summer, anyway, barring anything unforeseen. We do irrigate up there when needed, so I don't know if I can evaluate drought tolerances.
More complicated than that Lisa, if you've been reading that thread.
I read it from time to time but don't spend much time there. And it's very clear that there, and also at other message sites, those in the colder zones don't seem to appreciate the fact that it's primarily soilborne diseases that the tolerances are against.
With Nancy's picture above, she said it was from Mim, and Mim is the sister of Steve, who owns the Heritage Seed site in San Diego, where they seldom do have any foliage diseases.
Carolyn, who needs to be convinced that there is a significant increase in fruit production with grafted plants as well, to go along with the incresed tolerance to some soilborne diseases, but at this point point is not convinced b'c some do, some don't, see such an increase.
Another thought. It seems that when you start messing around with a plant, something BIG suddenly disappears. For instance, the SCENT of many modern roses. Will grafting mess with something that is a trademark of tomatoes? Not the negative, like disease and fungus, but the positive, such as taste or texture.
I dunno the answers to all of the questions raised, but I am curious to see my own results with already grafted plants, grown side by side with the ungrafted variety. The numerous failings of the folks at Tomatoville at grafting is quite enough to discourage me from even trying it myself. It's made for some heartbreaking reading. However, I do think it has potential to be valuable. Certainly probably more valuable to folks with lots of soil borne problems. And Gracye, I will be sure to notice any variance in flavor and texture.
That thread at Tomatoville is 39 pages long and I have read it all along. The one person who has had the most luck is MLM1, who has been training others. She does say she if from Northern California, I think north of SF.
Aren't Leaf Mold and Powdery mildew foliage diseases? Nancy I water too but it's just too dry for Old German. The more I read about this the more interested I become. I'm looking forward to your results.
I have been notifies by the folks at Harris Seed that they will not be sending me the grafted plants I had order due to issues from their suppliers. I was really looking forward to seeing the results of growing these out side by side with the original plants. Drat.
It would have been informative for you to grow the grafted one along with
an own root one. But to prove that either was superior to the other,--- would require
a grow out of several thousand by several people in different regions.
I was too. That sounds like a great project, Nancy, and we all would have benefited.
I'm growing several types that are relatively disease resistant, and they do fare better agains Early Blight than some of my other ones. This year I'm going to use irrigation tape in that whole area so none of my tomato plants will get sprinkled and I'm hoping that will help, too. I have wondered about grafted types but not enough to research it, so I found this thread very interesting.
Leslie and others, know that using irrigation tapes to prevent sprinkling the plants is not going to help prevent foliage diseases as I posted above.
The four most common foliage diseases are Early Blight ( A. solani) and Septoria Leaf Spot, both fungal, and Bacterial Speck and Spot, both bacterial, are spread via air and embedded in rain droplets as new infections each year, depending on which of those diseases are prevalent in the area in any given season, And using grafted plants doesn't help give tolerance to those four foliage diseases either b/c the rootstocks used don't have genes for any of those tolerances either. Grafted plants can only help minimally with soil borne systemic diseases.
When I read the ads for grafted plants and the spin that's given on how great they are and what they can do and look at the probablyy doctored pictures comparing grafted and non-grafted plants of the same variety, I just gulp, I really do.
Matter of fact there are NO genes known, either with hybrids or OP's, that lend tolerance to plants, so with no known genes, and yes, a few exceptions for Early Blight that aren't worth considering, there is no tolerance at all, and it's tolerance , not resistance,
There are quite a few breeders, both amateur and professional, working with trying to find some genes for Septoria Leaf Spot, and fingers crossed they will be successful, but nada when it comes to some effective genes for Early Blight, to date.
I wish it weren't so, but one can only hope that some discoveries will be found in the future.
Carolyn, where it's still raining and windy and too darn cold. I looked at two weather sites this AM and darn if I didn't find blue areas on the maps, that's SNOW. Mainly in the Adirondacks and the Catskills, but also in the Green Mts of VT and I'm just 2 miles from the VT border and Egg Mt at the end of the road is part of the Green Mts. Sigh.
I use drip tape in my garden and love it. I know it doesn't prevent foliage diseases, but it does seem to help me have healthier plants, not to mention less work. I also cover my tomato rows with landscape fabric to prevent soil splash back and lower watering needs as well as weed control. As an added benefit, you can water large areas all at once. I think you'll love it. I do believe dry foliage leads to healthier happier plants. Of course, if I put a clear roof on the garden, I would have less of a disease issue, but that is a bit impractical.
Drip tape may not prevent foliage diseases but we always have much more trouble with tomato plants that get some drift from oscillating sprinklers than with those that are farther away from that area and stay dry.
I use salt hay as a mulch over the drip tape; it works well.
I never saw ads for mighty matos; instead they were recommended by my local gardening newsletter. We grow tomatoes for fun and for eating, and I was intrigued. I paid a fortune at a local nursery that I never patronize (and probably won't again).
The plants have fruit but have not grown too much, I guess thanks to cold weather and about 3 inches of rain. The other tomato plants are growing well. The grafted tomato plants must be planted with the graft above the soil. Normally we put the plants in so deep they think they're in China, and they are very happy.
I decided to graft my own tomato plants this year. I found a good video on You Tube from Ohio State (I think). I wasn't doing it for the disease resistance, because Early Blight is my biggest problem, and it wouldn't help. I was just curious about how they would turn out - plant growth, fruit production, etc. I used the hybrid seed from Territorial Seed, but may try Maxifort next year (if I do it again). I got the grafting clips from Amazon, don't buy the clips from Territorial Seed, they are way too small and I had to return them. I grafted 25 plants, and had 20 that took. It was fairly easy to do. I guess the rootstock seed is expensive, but not terrible. The clips can be used again, as long as they are cleaned well. The plants look good and have their first flowers (we just started to have warm weather).
You are not changing the genes of the fruit by grafting. The rootstock determines the vigor and growth, and the scion or top part of the graft determines the fruit. So, I grafted different heirloom tomato plants onto the rootstocks. I should still get the same heirloom tomatoes - look and taste. I'll let you know how this experiment works out.
When a rose plant doesn't have a scent, it's probably a hybrid. It's been crossbred to select for color and flower size, but doesn't have the fragrance anymore. Roses are often grafted, but the hybrid top is grafted on a rootstock that may determine size, vigor, cold tolerance, etc. Grafting a tomato plant is completely different from hybridization.
I have to go on record to say I think they are a bust, at least the Homestead 24, which is a determinate. I don't think it will grow any more. The Beaverton Slicer, an indetrminate, still has some promise. All of the nongrafted plants are doing beautifully, both purchased plants and those grown from seed.
As GaMad mentioned, the potato leaf plants have a strong rootstock. Unfortunately they have never been big producers for us. Healthy plants; very few blooms when all the others were going great guns. I won't buy a potato leaf tomato plant again.
I do think potato leaf plant are very strong, so they might take a little longer to put out fruit. I think they really catch up on production. Summertime Gold was one of my biggest producers last year. Matina, which I grow for early tomatoes, just keeps on producing, though the tomatoes are golf ball sized. KBX vs Kelloggs Breakfast--for me Kelloggs is much more productive. Some of the other potato leaf varieties I have great luck with are Brandywne Cowlicks, Brianna, Linda's Faux, Mariannas Peace, an Stump of the World. Somehow Granny Cantrell switched to a potato leaf form for me, and I continue to grow that every year with good output.
Local nursery had them on "SALE," a dollar each in gallon pot, so I bought one, I am really disapointed, it is just sitting there, green leaves and still no blooms, while the rest of my plants are blooming and have green tomatoes already. I sure glad I didn't pay much for it...
I have been growing tomatoes for many years and decided to grow grafted tomatoes this year. I bought them from Jung seeed catalog. Only two of the three survived.
I bought the same varieties (Celebrity and Juliet) of the two that survived in non grafted form as a test. So far the non grafted tomatoes are much larger in size and have more fruit. The non grafted plants are more vigorous and have grown faster.
I think the grafted tomato marketers have oversold the benefits of grafting.
In some situations where there are certain diseases or pathogens in the soil grafted tomatoes could be an advantage. But many tomatoes already through breeding have resistsance to many of the soil diseases like verticilium and Fusariam and even nematodes (VFN). The idea is that if you have a superior root system you potentially have a more robust plant that could fend off all diseases better including foliar diseases.
But so far I havent seen a healthier robust plant. Fruit trees when grafted tend to be dwarfed slightly and I am wondering if this is what is happeneing with my grafted tomatoes.
I was going to buy several but common sense took over and I down sized it to one . received the saddest looking waif. I complained about the quality and asked for a different plant but was told they had none to ship. I was told to just plant it and they were sure it would grow. They were right it is growing the problem is the non grafted ones are growing far and above in size and tomato setting than the mightymato lol.
I rate it right up there with pig weed. I am sure glad I reduced my order.
I think we should all desend upon Jung Seed Co's front door with out rakes,shovels, and hoe's and have a sit in lol.
The one grafted tomato of the three I ordered that did not make it they did refund me. Yes they were very scrawny tiny little plants. The two that did survive are growing well but at a much slower rate.
My pigweed actually looks much better lol!
Grafting has been used in Asia and Europe for many years commercially where there tends to be many more soil borne pests. Grafting is just beginning in the last 3-4 years here in the US where products like methyl bromide are being phased out and problems with soils pests are increasingly becoming more a problem particularly with tomatoes and cucurbits.
So it is actually a good technology for the farmer, just not one for the home gardener...at least not most of them.
at least gardeners cant be taken advantage of for more than one season!
My mighty matos were in one gallon pots and were about 18-24 inches high. They had a few tomatoes on each plant. At $18.99 apiece, I have learned my lesson. I got them in April when it was still too cold to plant, and they were the first to be planted in May. Although they were in gallon containers, they needed very frequent watering, as the containers retained very little water and they were constantly wilting until they were planted. Since the graft must be above the soil, our habits of planting in China could not be applied. They have always been healthy since they were planted, but definitely not growing like the nongrafted plants and certainly barely producing fruit. Unlike the wintersown tomatoes and the heirloom plants bought for $4.50, the grafted plants produce $10 tomatoes. I pretty much have the same luck with potato leaf plants. Very healthy, tall and bushy, but a plant that produces two tomatoes does not make us feel like gardeners.
Celebrity (grafted Mighty Mato in the foreground), Celebrity non-grafted right behind it(slightly to the right). Note the size difference and number of fruit. Non grafted is outgrowing the cage where as the grafted tomato is much smaller with fewer fruit. Both were planted on April 28, 2013 and were relatively the same size at planting. Only a general all purpose fertilizer (10-10-10 plus micros, http://www.millernurseries.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=1235) has been used about 1 week after planting. I have raised beds with lots of 'mushroom' soil added annually which provides the nutrients for the remainder of the season.