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The Grafted Tomato Experiment

26 Apr 2012
Storms 27°C / 80°F

After reading about the new wave of grafted tomatoes, I ordered some 2mm silicon grafting clips and decided to give it a go.

The technique that I used is the “tube” graft, which uses an angled “butt-joint” with a silicon clip to hold the severed stem together. You can see the small clip on the graft joint in the second photo.

The method requires that following the graft, the plant be held in a darkened 100% humid environment. I created some individual “humidity domes” out of 2 liter bottles. The primary picture shows the 6 plants under their domes.

The plants are expected to take a week to heal together at the graft joint, then are to be slowly reintroduced to light.

I am two days in, and 3 of the 6 show significant wilt. This may be an indicator that I got a poor join at the graft site, or some other problem.

We’ll see how this all comes out.

The varieties that I “glued” together are:

Black Krim on Big Beef,
Amazon Chocolate on Big Beef,
Opalka on Big Beef,
Spudakee Purple on Big Beef,
Lime Green Salad on Celebrity, and
Spudakee Purple on Celebrity.

I chose the Big Beef and the Celebrity hybrids as rootstock due to their excellent disease resistance. The seed catalog that I got the 2mm clips from also sells Maxifort, which is specifically bred as a rootstock, but is very expensive.

I’ll see how my little experiment turns out.
Stay tuned.

- Update from Day 4
All of the plants except the Amazon/Big Beef seem to be doing pretty well. I’ve updated the individual plant photos to show the grafts. The poster child for best looking plant (so far) is either the Black Krim or the Spudakee Purples. Those seem to be doing the best.

- Update from Day 10 is here.


Photos


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Comments

I actually grafted Black Krim to a potato last year with masking tape (hee hee). I hummed the Simpsons theme song & thought about “tomacco” the entire time. The graft took – then just as it was starting to flower the kids ran through my potato plot & wacked the entire plant off at the ground. They were in TROUBLE!!! Ah well… mmm potomato!

I would be very curious to see your Lime Green Salad graft. Mine have such strong rugose stems as it is. (:

Posted on 27 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)
Mamabluestem

Mamabluestem

Folia Helper

United States5b

Well, I learn something new everyday here!

Posted on 28 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

Well, that’s amazing. Now all you have to do is graft a tomato, jalapeƱo, and tomatillo together and make a salsa plant! While you’re at it, combining onion and garlic would be convenient too. I never knew you could graft non-woody plants.

Posted on 28 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

Interesting. Will be looking to see how it goes. I only have one question … why graft tomatoes?

Posted on 28 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

Ok, I’m not brave enough to try this one yet. I bought one today at the local garden center. Black Krim on a Big Boy. Excited to see how it does since my krims were a bit drab last year.

Posted on 28 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

Ok, I’m not brave enough to try this one yet. I bought one today at the local garden center. Black Krim on a Big Boy. Excited to see how it does since my krims were a bit drab last year.

Posted on 28 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)
Ostrya

Ostrya

Folia Helper

United States5b

@nickyn – Man, I hate it when that happens! I’ve heard that you could graft tomatoes onto potatoes, but hadn’t tried it yet. Unfortunately, I think that the Lime Green graft is one that is very wilted. I’ll see if I can get a picture of it and update this post.
@ halhurst – I did see that tomatoes and peppers could be grafted together… I wonder if tomatillos are close enough related to graft to a tomato…I’ll have to read up on that one.
@ HollyBee – The main reason is to take advantage of the vigor and disease resistant characteristics of a hybrid and get the flavor of an heirloom. Some heirlooms are very yummy, but susceptible to certain wilts and disease. That being said, I’m not sure that any of the heirlooms that I used are especially vulnerable… I am just interested in seeing how hard it is to graft tomatoes.

Posted on 28 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)
Ostrya

Ostrya

Folia Helper

United States5b

@nickyn- I’ve updated this post with pics of the Lime Green Salad. It still looks wilty today, but maybe it will be OK.

Posted on 29 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

tomatillos are Physalis ixocarpa and not lycopersicum, but both solanaceas. So are potatoes; so there are possible horizons involving french fries and ketchup, if you get solanaceae to play together! Isn’t life strange?

Posted on 29 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)
Tralamander

Tralamander

Folia Helper

United Kingdom8b

fascinating, keep us updated. I wish I had tried this this year, but it seems someone is doing it all properly for me, haha. :D

Posted on 29 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

Oh – I am jealous of your clips! They look great. Much more professional than my masking tape! (:

Posted on 30 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

Wow, this subject has just really popped on to my radar. Three Tomato graft interactions in less then a week. Maybe next year will be the year for me to give it a try. There are always lots of hybrid tomato six packs at this time of the year.

Posted on 02 May 12 (over 7 years ago)
Ostrya

Ostrya

Folia Helper

United States5b

Here is the link to the site where I got the silicone grafting clips.

I also have a new journal entry here with surprising turns for the Black Krim and continued strength of the Spudakee Purples.

I thought about just doing the update here, but then I couldn’t add any more pictures, so the new journal entry has all new pictures.

Posted on 03 May 12 (over 7 years ago)

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