What a difference grafting (vegetables) makes!


In many cases I was mixing and matching sizes. They don’t all grow at The same rate. The Estamino plants I had were super fast growing monsters that had to be up-potted earlier. In many cases I just shook the dirt off the scion plants roots, then dug a little hole next to my rootstock and did a cram, bury and water it in with the scions root system. It sure seems to be working.
The plants have plenty of time to recover from shock in their humid healing chamber.

I only have six rootstock left to graft. Omar’s Lebonese was super slow getting going, and didn’t germinate super well. Only 3 of that variety and one is finally big enough to try grafting. …Maybe tomorrow.

I’m keeping good track of scion/rootstock combos, and also going to grow test plants on their own roots to see how they survive and produce.

I’m sure some folks would think I am CRAZY, but this is fun to me!


Here is a close up of a plant grafted high, where the diameter of the plants matched. I’m sure I’ll have to keep low sucker growth off the rootstock.



Jolene, I watched that video too. He made grafting looked so easy to do. I have a question for you, where do you think he bought that thin double blades from? It looks familiar, but I can’t think of a place to buy .


Some drug stores might have them, particularly if you can find any that aren’t chain stores. It might even be work checking some old hardware stores that carry a bit of everything.

They are blades from what they called safety razors. These are the ones that could cut from either side.

And of course they are on Amazon if you are willing to feed the beast:


Thanks,I will check local hardware stores.


Hubby bought a pack at Walgreens ( its a drug store chain) He says they have the old fashioned razors there too.


We have Walgreens here too, I will check with them too, thanks a lot


So my first attempt was to iron out the kinks and figure out what I’m missing and I had 2 out of 3 takes. Not too bad. Here they are…
These are top grafts using side clips. Pretty vigorous so far…and def beginner’s luck. When I got the other little silicone tube looking clips in I did a second batch. None took. It seemed like the stems pushed them off prematurely and then flopped over. I regrafted them and same problem. So I went back to the side clips for another batch of tomatoes.
Meanwhile I grafted some cukes and watermelon onto bottle gourd rootstock and all but 1 took (used side grafting clips).
This is fun and it is getting easier.


looking good. I did cleft graft, all took. Some of them didn’t look very promising right after the operation, but they still survived. I am going to try cucumber on pumpkin to see what happens


Three of my findings so far…

  1. Keeping the scions out of the bright grow lights for 48 hours (not necessarily in the dark) results in less stress on them after grafting.
    I did some more on Sunday with scions I set in regular indoor room light for maybe 2-3 days, and here 3 days out they don’t even look like they skipped a beat. I wish I knew this with my second batch.

So as the adage goes: You don’t learn anything doing it right the first time. :blush:

  1. If you use the bamboo/wooden skewers to stabilize the graft, it may be a good idea to soak them in H2O2 1st. The ones I used for the cukes & watermelons molded quickly in the healing chamber environment - in less than a week. The plants were fine.

  2. Rootstock tops can be set in a very loose mix (1 pt potting soil: 2 pts perlite) and stuck in the healing chamber along with the grafts for future grafting projects. I was suprised how easily the tops of the bottle gourd rooted and started growing!


Great tips, thanks for sharing.
I found the survive rate might be higher if scions are small/young


I did three splice grafts, first attempt, two weeks ago. They are still alive but barely. I need to get them into more light. One of them doesn’t seem to like the grafting idea so it’s sending out it’s own roots into the air hoping to find some dirt.


I was thinking to avoid tomatoes this year due to all the work involved, but got sucked into it at the garden center (you know what I mean).
Amongst some unusual varieties, I got 2 CF Momotaro disease resistant varieties, one of them grafted, Just to compare how they do. It has a neat little plastic clip supporting the graft line. I noticed a few other grafted vegetables there as well, I’ve never seen them before.


The advise you gave is pretty close to what I tried. Top grafted 18 and left them under plastic in my office for 6 days and then under the fluorescent grow lights since then. I’ve slowly pulled back the plastic a little at a time for the last 3 days and today, day 9 since grafting, they are completely uncovered. 15 look good, 2 are very wilty and probably won’t make it and one I knocked off by mistake so just put the to in the soil to root.

The wilty one’s are the ones that put out adventitious roots from the scion when they were still completely covered so either too much humidity for too long lead to rooting or a failing graft made them try to root instead. Either way, roots from the scion mean it is in trouble which is what I read. Rooting cells aren’t new cells to bond the graft I guess.

I kept the rootstock tops and rooted them for backups, but it looks like I won’t need them if these guys continue to look good. They’re small, but if I get them hardened off I’ll plant the grafted plants this weekend.


I think that’s the reason. I had a few do that too.

I killed a few of the last I grafted with not enough tlc after. We are just sooo hot and dry here, they really need to be watched close, and weaned slow.
Still have plenty to try.


Planted out 30 plants last night under a tall string trellis frame

8 feet high.
Two are ungrafted root stock, and one is an ungrafted Everglades cherry.

The guy in the background is watering in applegreen eggplant to night.


Ack, I planted out a dozen grafted tomatoes and now we’ve had endless rain and they are trying to root out from the scions. The rain is splashing the soil up on the stem and the continued moisture is keeping everything moist enough. Since the graft is right below where the cotyledons were on the rootstock, it seems like this is going to be something I’ll have to be on top of all season long. I’m hoping the soil splashed on the stem and the start of roots won’t get any of the soil borne disease into the scion part. The roots are just starting and I’ll keep clipping them off, but it still seems like it is possible the disease resistant benefit could easily be lost by this.

I’m clipping off any roots I see forming before they reach the soil and will mulch around them with paper, but I think the continued intermittent rain we’re expecting over the next 2-3 days means they’ll keep trying to root out.

I’m thinking that if I want to plant them out in the open it might be better to let the rootstocks get taller and graft the scions higher next year. It just means I have to keep on top of suckering from the rootstock, but that is better than loosing the benefit of the grafting if the scion is rooting.

If you zoom in to the picture you can see the root starting on the scion around the middle of the grafting clip. Some of the others had a lot more roots than this one.


Nice. Do you think that the scion’s attempt at rooting might be a sign that the graft has not completely healed?

Another thought. Mine seemed to take forever to heal but I didn’t see any scion roots either. Perhaps one of the issues causing slow heal and no roots from the scion is that I removed a lot more leaves from the scion before grafting than it seems that you did. That means a lot less energy down the phloem when placed in the light, which, may cause rooting tissue to form. I’m wondering if you removed a few leaves from an agressive scion rooter would obviate the need for vigilance in trimming. Let us know if you try this.
2 questions:
How tall are your seedlings now?
What growing medium did you use for your rootstock?
Thanks for posting


That is possible, but they seem well healed to me. I think it is mostly because there has just been so much continuous rain, plus soil splashed up along the stem as well, pretty much caking them in wet soil conducive to rooting. I have taken the clips off all of them and rubbed the stems to knock off any roots and they are sturdy. I actually have 3 grafted plants still in the starter cells and they are out of the rain and showing no signs of rooting so the rain and possibly the wet dirt on the stems appear to be what is causing it. Also there are roots coming out of the rootstock stems as well so the moisture is basically making the whole garden into a misting chamber.

But I think the scions are also predisposed to root out at this point since I had rooting start on many of them while they were in the healing process, probably because I kept them under plastic for too long (6 days) and was spritzing them with a spray bottle every day for the first three days. I expect the extended humidity combined with the water getting trapped by the clips lead to the rooting starting before they were uncovered. Next year I’ll be more vigilant about getting them out from under the plastic and not baby them so much even if it means a few more don’t make it since I think the rooting is a real problem and once you create the cells differentiated to root cells it is more likely to happen again. Next year I will also graft them higher instead of cutting the rootstocks below the cotyledons so the scion isn’t as close to the ground. The videos I watched suggested cutting below the cotyledons to avoid rootstock suckers but with my few plants I can easily just watch and pinch out any that emerge.

In terms of size of the scions, I basically used this video as a guide for how big to grow the plants and how much foliage was on the scions.

I planted the rootsock and scion plants in ProMix BX and had 15 of 18 survive. After grafting the complete plant was about 4-5 inches and now they’re close to 6 inches, greened up and growing.


I grafted half of my muskmelons onto African horned melon rootstock. Here’s why…this non-grafted savor melon collapsed over the last couple of days, which is what happened to my entire crop last year. As you can see it has major nematode damage to the roots. Three grafted and three non-grafted plants are still going strong. Will post again when I have more to report.