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How to Graft Tomatoes

How to Graft Tomatoes

Shirley Bovshow shows you how!

WHAT ARE GRAFTED TOMATOES?


Grafting is a centuries old horticultural technique where you splice together the top part of a plant, "scion" with a strong, vigorous, root stalk for improved performance" grafted tomatoes include heirloom varieties like brandywine and mortgage lifter, combined with a disease resistant rootstock grafted tomatoes from the burpee home garden's, "bumper crop" line promise to increase fruit production by 50% grafted tomatoes have better cold and heat tolerance for extended harvest.


DO YOU PLANT GRAFTED TOMATOES DIFFERENTLY THAN REGULAR TOMATOES? 


Yes, you plant grafted tomatoes higher in the ground, or higher in the container than regular tomatoes. you need the same, well-draining soil full of organic material.

With a regular tomato plant, you want to bury it as deep as possible in order to encourage strong root growth to support top heavy plant

- Remove some lower leaves, and insert into soil


- With grafted plant, you leave the "graft union" (where you see the two different tomatoes were connected) above the soil line where you can see it.

- This way, if you see a stem growing from below the union, remove it because it is growing from the root stock and not the improved plant.


WHAT IS A GOOD WAY TO SUPPORT A GROWING TOMATO PLANT?


Grafted tomatoes, as well as all indeterminate type tomatoes need a strong support system that should be installed at the time you plant your tomatoes. Take a look at this easy to make tomato tower holding up a large tomato plant. I made one here, as well! 

You can make a tall and expandable tomato tower using metal fencing available in large rolls and some sturdy stakes. make sure you plant in a fabric grow bag! all i did was cut metal fencing from roll with wire cutters. i then placed the metal fencing around the planting bag and closed it using wire. inserted three or four,  7 foot plastic poles along perimeter of soil and secure to the metal panel with wire. placed small bamboo poles horizontally so the ends go through the fence opening (this will support growing tomato plant). you may need to add a second metal panel to top if shorter than 6 feet.


WILL THE LARGE TOMATOES BE ABLE TO FIT THROUGH THE METAL GAPS?

Yes! If you thread the tomato through the gap when it is still small so it can grow strong to support hanging fruit! Check your tomato plant closely once a week and train the stems through the metal support.


HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO MAKE A TOMATO TOWER?

It will cost you between $10-$15 for a sturdy, tall tomato cage if you use galvanized, steel welded wire that comes in a 5 foot by 50'-ft roll. Each cage also has three or four 7 foot long plastic coated metal stakes that you can buy at dollar store!

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