I HAVE ANOTHER GREAT PROJECT TO TRY! I was talking to veggie gardening expert Ken Brown at a garden writers meeting in March. Because Ken knows I'm crazy about tomatoes, he suggested I try tomato grafting some myself.
When I asked Dad about grafting, he said I should talk to Alice at Log House Plants, a wholesale grower in Oregon. Their specialty is unique plants.......including.......grafted tomatoes!! They call theirs the Mighty 'Mato.
Alice explained that grafting is the process of putting two plants together. For tomatoes, you put a strong, disease-resistant plant on the bottom (it's called the rootstock) and a favourite variety on top.
Attaching your favourite variety to a stronger rootstock gives you more fruit production, more disease resistance, extended harvest, and increased water and nutrient intake. The rootstock is often tomato varieties that don't have great fruit, but they have really powerful, cold-tolerant, or disease-resistant roots. See the picture Alice sent me below.
My plan is to try grafting myself. I will put some of my more disease resistant varieties with some of my favourite varieties! And Dad said to try grafting coleus for practice too.
I'm also going to buy pre-grafted plants. Here in Canada, Dad and I tracked down a nursery that will ship grafted tomatoes by mail, Phoenix Perennials in BC. They ship pretty soon, so if you're thinking of trying grafted tomatoes in your garden and want a ready-to-go plant, order soon. Click here for their grafted tomato page.