Friday, October 4, 2013
Of Eggplants and Rootstocks
Click on this image to see a slide show of this week's Spec. Load.
I received a call this week: "what rootstock do you use for your grafted Tomatoes & Eggplants?". Bad moment. We just assume it's a rootstock and it'll do the job.
The answer is Tomatoes: Tomato Kaylon F1 and Eggplant: Koksal F1 ????
Koksal F1 is described as an "interspecific solanum hybrid" meaning I think that it is part Tomato and part Eggplant, either way the grafting process is an ancient and very clever way to combine the best quality fruiting with the strongest and most disease resistant plants.
Still not convinced of the added value? I was stunned to discover that the biggest Hydroponic Tomato producers graft their plants! They are already using the latest hybrid plants in an environment that is controlled to the nth degree 24 hours a day and they still wear the expense of grafting for the additional vigour and productivity.
The other question I regularly get about grafted Eggplant is it grafted onto the "old fashioned" rootstock? The old fashioned rootstock is Devil Plant (Solanum capsicoides). It's a Devil because of the vicious thorns. The Devil Plant is a perennial and is reputed to last up to 7 years, I can't comment on this having not tried but I know Eggplants and Capsicums & Chillis will last 3 & 4 seasons in our garden in a protected position. The Koksal F1 hybrid may well contain a few Devil Plant genes.