Grafted tomato plants

Niles, MI(Zone 5a)

what do you think about these, I'm going to buy some. From the info that I have found, they seem like a huge step up fromn regular plants

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

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.

Carolyn

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

This is interesting , and thank you for that about C F1 hybrid , I will keep that info ..

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

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.

Calgary, Canada

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.

Warrenton, VA

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!
Ah, Gardening.

Calgary, Canada

I agree! It is fun to strive to grow good healthy plants with their own strong roots.
This is another marketing fiasco. But the unwary will be caught.

Niles, MI(Zone 5a)

Local grower has them, $14.99 per plant, I can wait until they are cheaper!!!!!!!!!!

Calgary, Canada

Or try grafting some yourself?
There are several videos on line to show how to do it.

Leesburg, GA(Zone 8a)

If you want to try your hand at it, Start with Cherokee purple Tomato plants as root stock.
It performs great! And adds to the plant immune system.

Mad

Calgary, Canada

That is another one for root stock.
Somewhere I read that Celebrity F1 was a good candidate too.
I am not trying it this year ,but maybe another year for fun.

Leesburg, GA(Zone 8a)

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.

Mad

Calgary, Canada

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.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

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.

Carolyn

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Dearborn, MI

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.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

It would really have to increase production for me to even entertain the thought of buying one.

Nancy, what varieties did you buy? Please, let us know how they do. If the price goes down I might try some. I come from a long line of frugal people, I just can't shake it. Lol

Calgary, Canada

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.

Leesburg, GA(Zone 8a)

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. :)

Mad

Dearborn, MI

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. "

Calgary, Canada

Some say the flavour is not the same.
Time will tell how good these are.
Right now there is more marketing, and less proof!

Niles, MI(Zone 5a)

I think I will wait, our local growers have them but the price!!!!!!!!!!! $9.99 - $14.99 each. maybe next year

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Mad- I think we are confusing each other.lol Yes, you can save the seeds from the grafted plant but not the RS. The types Nancy is growing can be used for their seeds.

I'm interested in what the results will be. Nancy have you grown those varieties before? It will be interesting to see if you get different results with the grafted plants.

Dearborn, MI

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.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

How did Old German do for you? It doesn't tolerate drought conditions so it didn't do well here but with a grafted RS that could change...

Dearborn, MI

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.

Dearborn, MI

This picture ought to interest you guys. It was posted on Tomatoville by Mlm1 and all are grafted plants except one. Guess which one.

Thumbnail by nancyruhl
Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

When I click the picture it doesn't enlarge. : (. I guess the people on Tville are having trouble doing the grafting themselves not with the grafted plants?

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

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.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I was referring to a post that Nancy made a little earlier in this thread where she refers to positive and negatives. I was trying to figure out which was which. Lol

Warrenton, VA

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.

Dearborn, MI

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.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Yes, Lisa, both Grey Leaf Mold and Powdery Mildew,. two different kinds, are both foliage diseases.

Grey Leaf Mold can mimic Late Blight, P infestans, and has confused quite a few folks, including me.

Carolyn

Dearborn, MI

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.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

N but look at the money you saved besides I got the saddest looking plant you could beilive. I won't be trying this again,.

Calgary, Canada

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.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Dang I was really looking forward to seeing how they did.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

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.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

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.

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