Do you love the taste of tomatoes from your own garden? I do.
So, I was very excited to hear about new tomato plants that produce significantly more fruit AND are more disease resistant than the ones currently being grown in many vegetable gardens around the country.
These new tomato plants are grafted, which means that the top part of a tomato plant is ‘inserted’ into the roots of another tomato plant.
You may be wondering why a ‘grafted’ tomato plant is better than those that aren’t? Well, take for example an heirloom tomato plant with delicious fruit with a root system that isn’t particularly strong – the amount of tomatoes produced is limited.
What if you could take the top part of a tomato plant that produces delicious tomatoes and graft (attach) it to the root system of a vigorous tomato plant? What you end up with is a tomato plant that grows more tomatoes then a typical tomato plant and has greater disease resistance. A popular combination for grafted tomatoes is grafting a heirloom tomato onto the more vigorous roots of a hybrid tomato.
The practice of grafting is used for many other types of plants including fruit trees and many types of roses.
Grafted tomatoes aren’t all that new. They have been grown in Europe and Asia and have recently become popular in the United States. Chances are that one or more of your favorite varieties of tomato are available as grafted tomato plants. A grafted tomato plant will have the word ‘grafted’ on its label along with the variety of tomato.
I am excited about growing grafted tomatoes in my own garden. What’s not to love about it? More tomatoes and fewer problems with disease is definitely something to get excited about! **Grafted tomatoes need to be planted differently then regular tomato plants – don’t plant them deeply (you need to keep the grafting site above the soil line). The grafting site looks like a little line where the top and bottom are attached in the middle of the stem.
You can purchase grafted tomato plants (you can’t grow them from seed) from some nurseries, big box stores and online nurseries. They cost a bit more then your ordinary tomato plant, but with more tomatoes and fewer problems, the benefits are definitely worth it.
So, if you are planning on growing tomatoes once the weather warms up – look into growing grafted tomatoes. For a fun experiment, how about growing two tomato plants of the same variety – one grafted and the other one not and see the difference?