Purpose: To improve tomato production, some say as much as 30% by grafting a tasty tomato onto a hybrid which is disease resistant
- 2 clear plastic cups, one to fit inside the other to form the healing chamber
- New Double edge razor blade-clean and sharp, snapped in half lengthwise while in paper cover
- New Grafting clips-match the size of the clip to the size of your tomato stalk (Jim bought clips here)
- Rootstock and scion seedlings of matching stem size(we used Celebrity as the rootstock and Brandywine as the scion or top)
Water your plants the night before and pick a clean area indoors without direct sunlight and no fan or draft. Select your seedlings. We grafted Brandywine tomatoes onto Celebrity.
Jim had 100% germination rate so we had to pick one seedling from each pot to use. Look at the healthy roots coming out of the pot!
Jim suggested cutting the scion and rootstock straight across. Remember you want matching stem size.Place the grafting clip on the scion halfway over the cut stem, then join to the other stem so the cuts match up.
You will be able to see through the silicon clip to make sure the cut surfaces match up. Place your new grafted tomato plant in the bottom of a plastic cup, this will become the healing chamber. Slide the smaller cup on top making sure it does not touch the leaves.
The plant should stay closed in the healing chamber for 3 days with no direct sunlight. Check the grafted tomato from outside. If it wilts, open the chamber and mist or water the plant to raise the humidity level. Reclose the chamber.
4th Day-Open the healing chamber to see if the plant is moist. Add water if needed and close.
5th Day-Make a small opening in the tunnel so some of the humidity can begin to escape. Check frequently. If plant wilts, close the tunnel back up, increase humidity by watering or misting and try ventilating the next day.
Don’t remove the clip. The silicone clip will expand with the growth of the plant and eventually fall of by itself.
Let the plant grow indoors. It will take 1-2 weeks longer to be ready to go outdoors to the tomato patch because it will have stopped growing during the healing process.
When transplanting, make the sure the graft union is above the soil line.
Thank you, Jim, for growing the plants and guiding us through the tomato grafting process!