Tomato-growing season is upon us and choosing varieties can be an exciting (and sometimes daunting) task. This year at Molbak’s we have more than 50 varieties of tomatoes, from heirlooms to hybrids, old favorites and some new, plus a large selection of grafted tomatoes.
The art of grafting has a long history, primarily with woody plants such as roses and fruit trees. The process involves using the top of one plant, called the scion, and adding it onto the rootstock of a more robust, disease-resistant plant. So you get the best of both varieties.
So why grow grafted? Grafted tomatoes produce more fruit per plant — up to 30 - 50 percent more. And they are less susceptible to disease, wilt and pests. A larger, healthier harvest? Great news for the home veggie gardener.
Grafted tomatoes have slightly different planting needs. They create a larger root ball and thrive best in the garden, not in containers. Handle plants carefully and remove any side shoots below the graft. Plant with the top of the root ball at soil level, so the graft is about 1 inch above the soil. This will insure that the scion will not root into the soil. Grafted tomatoes need more space too, so make sure not to plant them too close together.
Grafted tomatoes grow faster — so you will need to prune them a little more often to increase air circulation and focus their energy on fruit production. And — be sure to provide adequate support with staking and cages.
So this summer — grow grafted! Our team at Molbak’s will help you make those tough tomato decisions, as well as outfit you with fertilizer, cages and don’t forget to pick up some basil too!
Want to learn more?
Stop by between 10-11:30 a.m.
Grafted Tomatoes for Bigger, Better Fruit
Amelia Wilbur, Ezra’s Organics
Amelia will be available in the Herbs and Veggies area to answer all your questions about grafted tomatoes.