What a difference grafting (vegetables) makes!


This video has been helpful to me. At about 18:50 in the video he discusses grafting cucurbits and uses a winter squash as a rootstock. I guess it has to do also with the sze of the seedling stems as well as the vigor.
I prefer the top grafting to the side grafting as it seems simpler to me. Looking forward to trying it.


I keep thinking about this statement you made. Wondering where there is more info on this, like: Was this a result of some recently spreading blight? Are they certain that it is pathogens and not soil deficiencies or other factors? What rootstocks did they have to resort to?
It is one thing to graft to get increased yield, it is quite another issue to graft to get any production at all.


Yes the top grafting looks easier, I learned the side graft first and it seems easy now. Also, if the watermelon is still attached to its’ own roots there is a little more forgiveness in the grafting technique as it still can get nutrients until the graft takes. I am going to try a few top grafts, do you have a clip size to recommend?

I just read a paper online that used the gourd cucurbica ficifolia for increased yields and cold tolerance. grafting cucumber by Cornell

Now to find seeds or a possible substitute for the fig leafed gourd.


For grafting my first tomatoes, I used the kind of clips pictured in post#21 above. The description said, “Sized for stems from 1.5mm (1/16”) to 4mm (5/32") diameter and easier to use than silcone clips". I don’t think they grasp firmly enough for the smaller sizes so I filed them down some. When looking into grafting cucurbits it seems like these are the style that are used and it makes sense because of the larger stems.

My 2nd batch of tomatoes I used the little silicone clips. 2.5mm was the largest I found and they were a tad snug but think they worked much better for tomatoes than the spring-type clips I used first.

I have seeds for a winter squash called ‘Sweet Meat’ which produced like a beast yielding more pounds of food per plant than anything else I’ve ever grown. It was recommended by Steve Solomon in his book, Gardening When It Counts. So it seems kinda suitable for this. We’ll see. :blush:


They didnt mention the rootstock used in Asia. For their research, they were using Estamino if I recall correctly.

I think the issue in the Asian country they were referring to was basically getting any production at all. Though my experience with grafted tomatoes of heirloom varieties in past years has been that they far outproduce ungrafted heirloom varieties.

With varieties such as sungold, black cherry, Early girl etc. there is probably near zero benefit to grafting. They are very vigorous to start with. Hybrids also seem to do very well ungrafted.
Of course, the soil and growing conditions here are quite good without the pathogens that I read about.


I sincerely doubt that statement regarding majority of solanaceae vegetables were grafted in Asia, at least not in China afaik. It maybe true in some small regions, but it can’t be economically feasible


I haven’t seen these recommended for cucurbits. Your current technique gave results. In fact, I’m surprised at the low ‘take’ rates the university you mentioned reported. Not sure I’d follow their recommendations.

Of the 76 grafts 1 successfully healed after 1 week.
The other 75 plants wilted or exhibited a soft-rot.

Thirty seven of each variety, Diva and Manar, were grafted to
Triumph… On April 5 there were 8 surviving plants of each of the scions Diva and Manar (16 total)

I think the procedures used by the commercial growers offer more hope than any university. Certainly looks like challenge, though. Congrats on your success.


http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=JP9605268 This 1995 paper says “In 1990, the area using grafted plants accounted for 59% of the production area of watermelons, cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes and melons.” in Japan and Korea.

This 1998 paper https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jjshs1925/67/6/67_6_1098/_pdf states that >95% of watermelons and oriental melons were grafted in Japan, Korea and Taiwan as of 20 years ago.

Here’s a trip report discussing the same, including a reference to using eggplant rootstock for growing tomatoes! http://www.vegetablegrafting.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Vegetable-Grafting-International-Field-Trip-Report-2015-Taiwan-and-Japan.pdf and also a manual grafting speed of 250 plants/hour. Crazy. States that for Japan “. Use of
grafted plants is exceeding 90% (production area basis) for watermelon and cucumber, 79% for eggplant
and 58% for tomato per the survey reported by the Japanese government in 2011 (NARO, 2011).”


I was interested in the final results of the successful grafts, and I noticed the low graft success rate and I chalked it up to technique, or maybe the cleft graft is not good for cucurbits?

ETA, I am not saying my techniques are better than theirs. Also, on reflection, if I only need 4 plants and I graft 10 the success rate is not good especially for a commercial set up, but OK for the home grower. I never really tracked my success rate, something to do this year.:thinking:


Thanks for posting, Mike. Lots of interesting techniques reported in the field trip paper. I like the idea of keeping the scion in the dark for 2-3 days before grafting. I guess if it is too vigorous when you cut/graft it, the demands are higher on the rootstock at a time they are both in shock, LOL.


Japan, Korea and Taiwan combined, make at most 2% of total arable land in Asia.


Just planted a few okra seed. Is there any compatible vegetable to graft onto it?


I grow pepper plants in pots and over winter them indoor. Does anyone know how to graft pepper seeding onto existing pepper plant?


It should be similar to tomatoes.
Try approach grafting. It may have better success rate.


Hubby helped me lastnight graft 7 more tomato plants (We did two a few days ago). Some Estamino rootstock, some supernatural. Scion varieties are Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Stupice, Stump of the World, Brandywine O. T. V. and Opalka.
Some top grafts with 2.5 mm clips, one cleft, and one side graft.
It’s too early to know if they will take, but the roots coming out of one of the first graft attempts are interesting. Super high humidity in that healing dome.


Grafting tomatoes seem a fun thing to do.here is my first grafted tomato plant. A week in a dark room, in another week I will take the clip off.
I didnt spend much $ on buying expensive root stock seeds. Rather, I spend a quarter bought a pack of burpee’s hybrid super beefsteak seeds, it has some disease resistance, and I grafted my favorite heirloom onto it. I will plant the same cultivar, grafted tomato and the none-grafted tomato side by side for comparison .



I’m still learning here. Out of the first7 plants we grafted before, I think 4 would have made it. I did a goof and left them up in the greenhouse, in a humidity dome, in the shade…and then left the greenhouse for too long and the shade moved, basically turning their nice little shelter from our DRY Arid-zona wind into a OVEN! The poor babies baked! :frowning:

I’m no quitter! Lol what I lack in skill I make up for in enthusiasm.
Here are 18 plants top and side grafted on the 8th. I am babying my babies this time, and think a fair number will survive me caring for them. I have yet to wean the side grafted off the scion roots.

And here is another 18 grafted lastnight. I hope they do as well.

Side grafting seems to be more forgiving, and even a thin sliver of stem increases survivability of the scion.


Jolene,very well done! I only grafted one plant,and I did in cleft graft which is difficult to handle such thin stem. I might try side graft on my next one.thanks for sharing.


You are more then welcome! :smile:
The video I have watched several times is this one.

The biggest adjustments I have had to make to his timing, and hardening off, have been in compensating for the temp and humidity differences between Vermont and Arizona.


I’m planning on trying the same technique. I started them a little over a week ago putting the rootstocks and top variety seeds at the neighboring edge of adjacent cells so they’re close together. I’m hoping to be able to graft them without removing them from the cells. We’ll see how it goes. I’m trying 5 heirloom types as an experiment with a graft on maxifort, a graft on RST-04-106-T and one on its own roots for each variety.