Tomato grafting


What technique did you use for grafting?

Perhaps approach grafting would give the best odds (when you cut the plants only after the graft mends).

I have a tamarillo tree and hundreds of cherry tomato volunteer seedlings so I should experiment with this.


Approach grafting. I may try it too later. I was thinking that my tomatoes were too thin for this method. I mostly made simple splice grafts at various angles and one cleft graft which was the first to die. I noticed that my silicon tubing pieces do not hold tight enough. They hold stems fine but there should be also some pressure applied, because when the cut tips heal they tend to turn outward. I tried to put two tubing pieces one above the other and it looked better. I also think that I made my healing chamber too humid or too hot. Something about my conditions was not right. I think the grafts were fine, they were very easy to make. Today I planted the tops back in their cups. The rootstock are rooting machines! In a week after they were cut they produced small roots.


I researched tomato grafting several years ago and concluded that it would offer no benefits for my plot, where septoria is the disease I battle. I learned that the right fungicides applied correctly is the way to go.


Ok, my tomatoes are up, scrawny and leggy.
I’ve have a degree in horticulture from Iowa State, I can graft my own fruit trees, I grow 120 acres of commercial sod, I’ve grown 16 acres of asparagus and 50 acres of commercial squash. I spent almost a grand on lighting and bottom heat and I get tomatoes that look like I started them in a dark closet, Yours look so good, what am I doing wrong???


@Chikn, will you believe if I say that they just grow? :grinning:
There are some points that are important actually. Don’t sprout tomatoes on heat mat. They sprout suddenly and grow too fast. If they have not adequate light during this time they can get extremely leggy and even with light they probably will. I sprout the seeds at room temperature and even at low 60s.
Then again after sprouting tomatoes do not grow them at room temperature or higher. They are too vigorous and again they’ll become leggy. I put them in the uninsulated basement where the temperatures stay at 60s and 50s. They get all purple but it is OK because they grow slowly and have nice thick stems and broad leaves.
Because my tomatoes grow slower I sow them earlier at the first two weeks of March.
For the lights I use regular fluorescent bulbs. They are three years old and all plants grow fine under them.
Also you probably know that the seedlings need moderate fertilizing. The regular potting mixes do not provide enough for tomatoes and peppers to grow. I actually like Pro-mix organic which is sold in our Menards. But any mix will do with fertilization. This year I tried fertilizer spikes for houseplants. One spike per cup in which my plants grow. It is really convenient and not expensive, because I do not want to spent much time on feeding plants. The potting mix should be light and the watering should be moderate especially at the colder temperatures.
This week I took my tomatoes outside to get them adapted. By experience I know that tomatoes with dark green leaves adapt to UV light better then under nourished yellow leafed plants, which burn easily.
So the bottom line of my experience is to grow tomatoes in the cold conditions. They are not so tender as people think about them. Cold grown tomatoes adapt better to outside too, because 60-50s F is what they used to grow.


Here is the picture of the tomatoes along with alpine strawberries sitting outside.


Alpine tomatoes, Mine were grown on a heat pad, thanks!


I’ve enjoyed reading through this older thread and learning from y’all’s experiences. I tried a few side grafts 2 years ago but none succeeded. I think I had too much trouble making the cuts align as they should. I want to try again this year though as I use a pretty tight 3 year rotation on my garden space and grow about half heirlooms…added vigor and protection against soil diseases is worth the try, anyway. I found this tool and wondered if anyone thinks it would be helpful/worth the money. I have razor blades but with my struggle last time to judge the angle freehand it is interesting to me, even though I plan to try top grafting this time.