Tomato Grafting, Attempt 1
Nothing like a beautiful snowy day to take my first shot at grafting tomatoes. I started the seeds 2 weeks ago, so I absolutely had to get the grafting done today. Some of the plants were really too big, which I suspect will be problematic for success in this batch of grafted plants. (To see the background on Tomato Grafting, visit this post.)
I collected the materials: the plants, black garbage bags, a scalpel, the clips, latex gloves, antibacterial soap, pre-written plant labels.
I washed my hands and the scalpel, put on the gloves, and got ready to graft. I didn’t take any step by step pictures for you. Maybe next time. I can definitely show you the carnage though.
The grafted plants, complete with labels. I had one casualty while grafting. I cut the rootstock too low and the scion (the top part) split in the clip. Oh well. One total loss of eight isn’t terrible for the first time. (So far.)
After the grafting was finished, I put the plants into my extremely rudimentary healing chamber. It needs to be dark (black garbage bags), 90-95% humidity (plastic bags), 70-80 degrees (under the lights in my office). According to the literature, any grafted plants that are not wilted after a day or two will probably survive and develop healed grafts. We should see the results by the end of the week.
Honestly, I’ll be surprised if more than a couple of them make it. Here’s why:
1. I think most of the plants were too big…too big for the clips anyway. I should have done the grafting last Friday.
2. I didn’t get great matching of stem sizes between the tops and bottoms. Only a few of the grafts really matched well.
2b. I didn’t do a great job getting the same angle of cut on both the top and the bottom. I probably should have done a straight cut rather than trying to be fancy.
3. My healing chamber is extremely low-tech. It doesn’t control the conditions very well. I might need to go for something a little more professional than sticks and the cheapest possible black garbage bags.
I’ll try to post more pictures later this week!