Another Look at the Grafted and Non-Grafted Heirloom Tomatoes
On getting back to work this week, some of the differences between the grafted and non-grafted heirlooms have become increasingly apparent.
This is the view of the non-grafted part of the bed. The two plants on the end aren’t bad, but the next 4 grafted plants in line have withered to almost nothing. In fact, we did yank them out after I took this picture. They obviously weren’t going to produce anything, so it was time to go!
Looking the other direction, the grafted heirlooms are just a bit too healthy. (The brown, crispy plant on the right side is one of the non-grafted plants.) Of course, the healthy plants don’t seem to have many tomatoes either that I could see. But they at least have the potential to produce tomatoes! That’s a step in the right direction.
I rather suspect that there are some tomatoes on the grafted plants, but it’s hard to see them in that jungle. (I just justified that suspicion by going out and finding a ripe Marmande hidden in the jumble of leaves.)
Tomato Grafting – Attempt 2
This morning a bunch of the Master Gardeners joined me in getting some tomatoes grafted for our Demonstration Garden this summer. (For the low down on why we’re grafting and more details, check out this post, this post, and this post.)
Last time, the tomatoes were definitely on the large side of being ready to graft. This time, we’re definitely on the small side. So small, in fact, that some of them are going to wait until next week for grafting. ]
We have 3 varieties we’re grafting – Black Krim, Marmande, and Amish Paste. All 3 are being grafted onto Maxifort Rootstock.
Cutting the top off the rootstock.
The rootstock with a clip and the label for what the scion (top) will be.
Next you cut the scion (it looks a lot like cutting the rootstock!), and clip it onto the rootstock, maximizing the areas of the stems that are touching as much as possible.
Into the “healing chamber,” also known as putting a couple very cheap black trash bags over the trays, propped up by wooden plant labels.
Check back next week to see how many survived!