Grafted fruit trees have been the norm for many years. Nearly all fruit trees are grafted. Grafting not only assures variety purity, but can also provide increased hardiness and decreased tree size for easier harvesting. Now that same process is being used in tomatoes for the home garden, with some great benefits.
The Mighty ‘Mato is by far the most popular grafted tomato. It is grafted onto SuperNatural rootstock, selected for its combination of soil-borne disease resistance and its ability to support higher yielding plants. Grafting is a natural process that joins the top part of one plant (scion) to the root system of another plant (rootstock) without any genetic modification. As tissues heal, the two plants fuse, combining the rootstock’s vigor and disease resistance with the scion’s exceptional fruit quality and flavor.
Benefits of GRAFTING onto SuperNatural™ Rootstock:
- Stronger, more vigorous plants
- Bigger, better, and longer harvests
- Improved ability to withstand temperature swings and extremes
- Superior defenses against soil-borne diseases and pests, including nematode
Grafting is particularly valuable with heirloom tomato varieties that have wonderful and unique flavor, but are often susceptible to disease. Grafting to a disease resistant rootstock can improve yields by up to 100%.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Grafted tomatoes are not planted the same way as non-grafted. I normally bury the stems of non-grafted tomatoes as they will root all along the stem. DO NOT BURY THE GRAFT. If roots develop from the stem above the graft you will lose the disease resistance provided by the rootstock. Plant your Mighty’ Mato at the same level it is in the container that you purchased.
GROWING IN POTS
Grafted tomatoes perform better in the ground, because of their aggressive root system. However, the exclusive SuperNatural rootstock of the Mighty ‘Mato allows it to also perform well in containers. Use an 18″ diameter minimum pot and any good potting soil. We recommend Town & Country Potting Mix Plus.
A grafted tomato is more resistant to environmental stress than other tomatoes. A few simple steps will ensure a bountiful harvest:
- Full sun is best (6 hours minimum)
- Use a large tomato cage or stake
- Prune suckers to increase airflow and increase health of plant (this is to thin out some of the vegetation). Fruits ripen faster, too!
Use an organic or time-release fertilizer to get a more even feed. Garden Elements All Organic Tomato & Vegetable Food works very well. Avoid high nitrogen foods or quick acting chemical foods which may result in too much green growth and delayed fruiting.
Grafted tomatoes are new to Idaho. Lastyear was the first year they were available locally. If you have experience growing grafted tomatoes please comment below and share your experience- good or bad.