Saturday, August 7, 2010

Crafty Grafted Tomatoes

I receive a daily "Dirt du Jour" newsletter by email.  Much less long winded than I am. Every now and than I get a real surprise: "Grafted Tomatoes. Alice Doyle at Log House Plants says they’ve been doing it in Europe for ages. The benefits are many. Tomatoes grafted onto sturdy rootstock resist disease, resist nematodes, resist cold and provide a bumper crop from fussy heirlooms even in depleted soils. Every tomato she’s trialed has been bigger and better on grafted rootstock".  
Note the plastic grafting tape/clip near the base of the stem.
They've been doing it in Europe for ages!?! Is this a new concept in the US?  Anyway after many years of not growing Grafted Tomatoes we are putting a toe back in the water.

Grafting does help enhance Tomato productivity and when Grafted Tomatoes were first introduced to the Australian market by Cousin Fred (Wood) back in the early '80s they were a massive hit.  Of course everyone jumped on the bandwagon and the market became crowded.  I felt they became unprofitable for the level of work required to produce good grafted plants so we stopped producing.  Good grafted plants require specialist equipment and dedication, Floriana used to grow the best and they dominated the market.  Well one of our Seed suppliers, Highsun Express have offered pre-grafted Tomato plugs this season so we're trying them out.  Our first Tomatoes, Grosse Lisse and Apollo (and Eggplants, Bonica) have arrived and I'm pleased to say that the grafts are excellent so we should have plants ready for early September sales. For those in the know these are "V" grafted plants with only the one set of roots in the soil, that's considered the ideal process.

We will sell our Grafted vegies in 100mm square pots and expect they will retail for just under $10.00 per pot.  From our perspective they're worth every cent both for the work involved in production and also for their exceptional productivity. 

Why Crafted?  Just one of those malapropisms that stuck and has always made me smile.  Thanks Landy.

Keen on Bonsai?

The Waverley Bonsai Group is holding it's show next weekend, 14-15th August at the Mount Waverley Community Centre. Displays, demonstrations, experts and sales. Follow the link for full details. 

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