The quote marks are there because tomatoes are not vegetables, they are fruits, but we call them vegetables.

Planning next year's gardening.  Multiple catalogs now offer expensive grafted tomato plants.  Last summer I also saw grafted tomato plants at some of the stores, but thought of it as a gimmick.

Now I'm not so sure.  It makes sense.  I know the "with" and "without" photos can be fake or doctored, but when I look at them I think, wow!  What a difference!

from post gazete.com

  The left tomato plant is not grafted, and the right tomato plant is grafted.  Both have 2 main stalks.

The reported advantages of grafting are resistance to multiple diseases, increased vigor, and increased yield, from the rootstock, and keeping the flavor of favorite varieties on the scion (the top part).  

This is a bit counter to my thoughts about saving seeds.  The rootstocks are grown from solanum hybrids - some appear to be hybrid between tomatoes and another species.  Even so, the scion remains its old genetic self- saved seeds would not have the genes of the rootstock.  I can see pros and cons.

Most of the companies I wanted to pre-order from can't ship to WA, so I'm thinking I might order the rootstock seeds and do it myself.  

This is not a new method, but seems to be becoming more widespread.

Catalogs sell grafted eggplants and peppers in addition to tomatoes.   I found a source of seeds to grow rootstock.  I've seen the variety "Maxifort" mentioned several times.  It's also expensive, but I can see trying.

Never having grafted tomatoes, the backup plan will be to have the "normal" nongrafted ones too.  It would be fun to grow them side by side, to see if grafting is benficial in a home garden, not just a sellers webpage.

It's possible grafted tomatoes would be banned in the bible, except at the time of Bible, tomatoes were growing  in Peru and Mexico and the Hebrews had never dreamed of them.  Still, laws could be interpreted as banning hybrids, let alone grafts.  from that link, grafting is a potential problem with Hebrew law.  Too bad.

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Replies to This Discussion

This is a more academic report on grafting.  They do show improved size and yield in their research.

I've never heard of grafted tomatoes. Please keep us posted. 

Basic philosophy behind grafting is providing a better root system. So what ever benfits it provide are at the root level. Increased and improved yealds are also because of supply of more water and nutrients by a better root system. If one want to see how much difference will graftig provide, it can be done by comparing root systems of scion and stock. Bigger the difference between them, greater will be the advantage.

Stock in grafting just act as pipe. It dosn't make any difference to the scion behaviour such as making it disease resistant.

I'll go to hell for a good tomato.  Just another reason to add to the list.

Interesting bans in the bible.  Learned some new ones.

Impressive tomato plant! Just what I need--more tomatoes! Looks like a lot of work, but that's what science is all about--testing and experimenting. Good luck.

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