Home > Heirloom Tomato Varieties, Planting Tomatoes, Tomato Seeds, Tomato Varieties > Build Your Own Tomato

Build Your Own Tomato

Tomato GraftThis is a Tomato Graft! What the hell is a Tomato Graft you say ? Well a graft, speaking plant biologically, is kind of a marriage…a marriage where the best of both partners forms a great result, in other words a real happy marriage.

Here’s how it works. Often times folks have a type of tomato they really like but due to climate or soil conditions or some local diseases their tomato variety choice doesn’t do real well. So what can someone do to maximize the resulting yield of their favorite tomato plant in their situation….well the answer came from the Chinese many, many years ago. The Chinese came up with a way to adapt a superior root system to a plant of their choice resulting in a hybrid of sorts. The new root system was made from “Root Stock” and the above ground plant was known as the “Scion”. Of course the Chinese didn’t have tomatoes so their efforts were primarily aimed at fruit trees and ornamental plant varieties. These efforts to improve a plant by combining the root stock with the scion came to be known as “Grafting”. Let’s take a look at how “YOU” can do some grafting!

OK, let’s say you would like to grow a Brandywine Tomato but you know that your soil has some nematodes that might cause some problems with your tomato plant, so the answer to this problem is grafting. We want a root system that is going to be able to withstand the nematodes and provide nourishment for the plant. Well the first thing you need is a good Brandywine plant (scion) which you can find at your local greenhouses. The next thing you’ll need is a good root stock plant…I recommend the “Maxifort” tomato plant which you will have to order from a source that carries the Maxifort seeds…. I would suggest Johnny’s Selected Seeds…here’s the URL  (Click the letters “URL”)

OK, so now you have some seeds to grow the root stock from and you have your little brandywine tomato scion….so what do we do? Here’s what we do, we combine the scion with the root stock….here’s how. Naturally we should have started our root stock in order to get a plant to graft with the tomato stock we have chosen (the scion), in my case a Brandywine plant. Next we need too mate the root stock to the scion, we do this by cutting the two different plants at a 45° angle and joining them with some mechanism to keep them together, you can see above a plastic clip is used. I’ve used Clothespins, tape, or small diameter tubing in order to keep the two plants joined. Perhaps the following video will explain it better than I can….. Watch This!

OK, so there you have it, now you’re a special grafting expert tomato gardener! That does it for this week. I’ll be increasing the post frequency through May…next post in two weeks…be there! ☺


Posted Saturday, April 7th, 2012 by by admin, under Heirloom Tomato Varieties, Planting Tomatoes, Tomato Seeds, Tomato Varieties.

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