Monday, December 9, 2013

Graft in the Garden

This post is not about corruption on the farm, it is about grafting heirloom tomatoes. I've been interested in this for a number of years. I was thinking this may be our next weird thing for 2014.

I have started to see some transplants show up commercially this last year. World wide there were more than 1 billion vegetables grafted in 2011, but very few in the US.  I'm going to do some experimenting this next spring and may have some grafted transplants in our own production or at market.

The idea is to select an heirloom or other variety that has some undesirable characteristics and graft on a rootstock with more disease-resistance and productivity. Kinda like they do with an apple tree.

Reports indicate that a 50-100% increase in yield can be expected. So there is a big payoff to for the extra work required for grafting. The aggressive disease resistance, rooting, extra yield, and great ripening can make the effort worthwhile.

Grafting is a tricky art. So that is right up our street in terms of something weird to do for the year. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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