Grafting lets you grow your favorite tomato variety on a super vigorous, disease-resistant root system, boosting your plants productivity — even in challenging growing conditions!
1. Sow: Fill small pots or trays with moist seedling mix; sow rootstock and scion seeds 1/8 inch deep (remember to label them!) Keep the soil temperature at 75-80°F for best germination.
2. Size up: Rootstock stems must closely match the shape and diameter of scion stems. Adjust variables like heat and light for each group to influence growth rate.
3. Graft: Mist regularly as you graft to prevent drying. Work in sterile conditions. When both scion and rootstock seedlings have 2 true leaves and stems are 1.5-2.0 mm in diameter, use a razor blade to sever both seedlings 5-10 mm below the cotyledons at a 45-60 degree angle (gently, leaving the lower part of the rootstock seedling rooted in its container). Place a tube clip (whose diameter is slightly less than the stems diameter) half way down on the cut end of the lower piece of rootstock (the piece with the roots). Insert the top part of the scion into the tube so the cut surface aligns perfectly with that of the rootstock.
4. Heal: For 7 days, keep newly grafted plants in a healing chamber at 95% humidity (a plastic dome works for this) and 80-82°F. Keep them in darkness for 24-48 hours, then provide light (fluorescent light at 5400-7400 lux is ideal).
5. Wean: Over the last few days, gradually increase light while decreasing humidity and temperature until conditions match those outside the healing chamber.
For more information, including step-by-step instructions with pictures see The University of Arizona Vegetable Grafting Information Website
KEY TO TOMATO DISEASE RESISTANCE AND TOLERANCE
HR indicates high resistance.
IR indicates intermediate resistance.
AB | Early (Alternaria) Blight
B | Bacterial Wilt
F* | Fusarium Wilt
FOR | Fusarium Crown and Root Rot
L | Gray Leaf Spot
LB | Late Blight
LM | Leaf Mold
N | Roundworm | Nematode
PL | Corky Root Rot
PST | Bacterial Speck
RK | Root-Knot
TMV | Tobacco Mosaic Virus
ToMV* | Tomato Mosaic Virus
TSWV | Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
TYLCV | Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus
V | Verticillium Wilt
* Numbers indicate specific disease race.