To graft or not graft?

grafting hands 2 Delfland.JPG

My advice is that grafted plants are worthwhile if you are growing tomatoes in the same soil year after year (usually in a greenhouse).

grafted seedling.JPG

You are unlikely to see a benefit from the disease-resistant rootstock if you are growing in grow-bags or containers using fresh growing media. You may still benefit from the extra vigour resulting in an earlier first pick or an extended harvest period at the end of the season.  If you buy grafted seedlings, make sure the graft is above the surface of the compost when you pot them up or plant them.  If you don’t, the scion may produce adventitious roots and you will lose the benefit of the rootstock.

Commercially, tomatoes are grafted at the seedling stage, but this is very difficult to do successfully at home. It is possible to graft bigger plants – look in old text books for instructions e.g. The UK Tomato Manual (1973, H.G. Kingham (ed.), ISBN 0 901361 14 3).

Fact 03

Did You Know?

In the UK, we eat 6oz (160g) of fresh tomatoes per person per week. This is the equivalent of two classic British tomatoes per week, or more than 100 per year - very low compared with other European countries, especially those in the Mediterranean region.

Phil Pearson

Meet the grower

Phil Pearson

Phil is the Group Development Director of APS Produce Ltd and Chair of the British Tomato Growe…

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