What a difference grafting (vegetables) makes!


So for folks doing this:

Where can you get good, cheap clips?

Saw some on johnnys but assuming i may want to try like ten grafts and have 2 clip sizes to be safe…like 20 bucks per hundred of each size may not be a bad price but is a larger investment than i want for just dabbling


What are you planning to graft? For tomatoes I like the silicon clips and they are pretty reasonable on Amazon, although you usually still by 100. I use the 2mm size and just check them on the rootstocks every once in a while to see when it is a good fit.


I started both at the same time. You can speed up/slow down either the rootstock or scion plants by adjusting the lighting.


that’s the thing, I have no idea–looking to graft a few tomatoes and a few watermelons, but not to but like 100 clips each of 3, 4 sizes… :frowning:


I used short sections of clear aquarium tubing slit lengthwise. 20/24 grafts onto maxifort took. They are sizing up now. Some of the unions dont look the best but they are holding up ok. Perhaps something to put pressure on the joint would have helped, but im satisfied. And i had the tube laying around unused anyway. Give it a try.


What is your rootstock for melons? I am using pumpkin simply because it is what I started with. I am looking into maybe a winter squash, but with so many varieties to choose from, I am at a loss.


For melons i used african horned melon also known as kiwano. I got seeds from baker creek. At the end of the season the roots has minimal nematode damage. Without grafting my cantaloupe roots are one giant continuous nematode gall and plants collapse a week or two before the fruits ripen.


So just a quick update on timing. I started my rootstocks 6 days after the scion tomatoes. The DRO141TX rootstock in particular is very fast growing and has already caught up to the scion tomatoes in size and stem diameter. The 106 stock (on another shelf) is only slightly behind. The DRO are the tray on the right side. The other 2 trays are various heirloom types for my scions. I think next year I’ll give the scions an even earlier start.

I’ll probably be grafting next weekend, but we’ll see. As they get close I’ll see how the 2mm silicon clips I use fit on the rootstock stems and start grafting once the clips are nice and snug.


Gee, I have the exact same rootstock and they are compete duds for me … the leaves yellowed and its taken a few weeks for them to even start greening up.

I had my light on 24/7 and I recently put it on a timer for 16 hours a day and only now are the rootstocks starting to green up … very odd. All the other plants but one other are doing great. JD C-Tex also not doing well, they are mostly dead.


This is my first year growing under LED lights instead of the regular t8 bulbs I had been using. It is a bit of a learning curve and I may have been giving my scion plants too much light at first which made them suffer a bit. I guess that might be part of the reason they aren’t as far ahead of the rootstocks as I expected. Around the time the rootstocks were sprouting I moved the lights up and reduced the time to about 15 hours (from 19). I don’t know what helped specifically, but they all look better than when I was nuking them.


I read up a bit on how long the lights should be on and all I found was comments on how its OK to just leave them on 24 hours… maybe with the LEDs they are less able to take a full 24h? What is really surprising is how different varieties responded so differently. My Sun Golds lapped it all up, they are huge and green. Same with peppers and Amazon Chocolate. Lucid Gem was so-so, and the roots and JDs got hammered. I have these tops in the same pots as the roots (put the top variety on the edge for eventual removal). So its not the dirt or the location. Anyway never again will I do 24 hour lighting.


I grew tomato seedlings of over a dozen varieties under LED’s running 24/7 for two years in a row. No issues with any particular strain, though there are big differences. I wish everything grew like sungold and yellow pear. This is year three, and I have a whole bunch doing that right now in my greenhouse- natural light all day then I run the LED’s all night.

The last two years I’ve done this with two different rootstocks and a dozen different scions with no problems. As a biologist who studies plants for a living I can promise you that plants don’t need darkness when they are young. Something is going on with your seedlings but it’s not the hours of darkeness.

These are my plants about to be grafted. ‘DRO’ rootstock on the left, Brandywind (Suddeth) on the right. Started all the seeds at the same time. I reduced the vigor of the more precocious DRO by clipping off the cotyledons once the true leaves showed, then clipping a few leaves here and there when they first came up. This allowed the Brandywine to cach up. They were pretty much a perfect match for grafting. Growing them paired up like I did this season made my life very easy.

The burned leaves you see is because I blew a fuse and my greenhouse got up to 115 degrees while I was at work due to the roof vent not opening.


How are everyone’s grafts doing? I grafted about 125 a few nights ago and I think they are healing okay. I’ve opened the top vents on the domes now and am working on slowly acclimating them. About a third are paste or heart types with that wispy, droopy foliage so it is a bit hard to tell, but once i open the domes a bit more in a day or so and give them more light I should get a sense which ones will make it.


I had 100% loss of my grafts for the second year in a row.:frowning_face: Apparently I suck at grafting tomatoes.


Ouch. Sorry to hear that. Getting them through the healing is definitely one of the big challenges. Maybe at some point I’ll figure it all out, but I just looked under the domes and saw some white fluffy mold on the edge of a few leaves which I hadn’t expected. I cut the affected parts off so hopefully they’ll be fine. They always say to mist them before covering them to heal, but I might try skipping that for some of them next year as a test, since I’m not sure it is a great idea to have water on the leaves in that super humid environment.

If mine come out okay and you wind up in the Arlington area, I may have a few extras I can share. Then at least you could see how they do for you. I should have Brandywine Cowlick on DRO … if they make it.


That’s very generous of you, thanks. I’m going to just start a new section of garden this year to get around my disease issues instead. Not a sustainable practice, but it will buy me a year or three.

My transplants looked like they rotted by the time I got them out of the chamber. I think I need to let mine get a little bigger/stronger before I graft next year.


There are just so many variables and I do a lot of babying to try to get them through okay. I really should be taking better notes on timing for various things so I can improve my process. For example, this year, some of my rootstocks got a little thicker than they should be for the 2mm top grafting clips I use. I thought they actually were shorter than when I grafted last year, but my mistake was I changed lighting and they are just stockier under the LEDs than they were under the T8 fluorescents. Luckily all but 2 I could make work, but I wish I kept track of how many days from sowing to grafting and try to avoid the same mistake last year.

I think I’m 6 days post grafting at this point and slowly acclimating them. I gave them 2 hours under the lights with the domes on last night and have giving them 5 hours under the lights with the domes propped up an inch today. I left the domes completely off for close to 2 hours this morning by mistake when I went to run an errand. I had planned just to do it for a half hour and check them, but spaced out and didn’t put the tops on before the errand. Luckily they were still holding up okay. So far I’ve only lost a few which were clearly not well aligned and just wilted anytime they were exposed to less than 90%+ humidity. With 35+ varieties I’m just hoping to get at least one survivor per variety. Ideally I’d like to have the domes off completely and them under full day light within a few days.


The grafted plants have been out from under the domes and in a full 15-16 hours of light for the last few days so I think I’m in the clear. A few that were misaligned seem to have still healed together, but I expect I’ll need to stake them right away in case they are weaker. Out of 125 it looks like I lost 7, which I sure can’t complain about.

One of the bad alignments that seems to have made it.