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How to Graft Tomatoes
These instructions cover the specific steps that go into the process variously known as head grafting, tube grafting or Japanese grafting. This technique is used to graft your chosen tomato variety (the scion) with rootstock. Rootstock does not produce fruit or foliage but is vigorous and resistant to diseases. Grafting takes practice to get consistent results, but those who develop this skill are rewarded with a more productive and disease resistant tomato crop.
What you need:
Plant Your Scion and Rootstock
Your rootstock and scion plugs may grow at varying rates. Through trial and error will you find the ideal timing to plant each so the diameter of the scion stem matches the diameter of the rootstock, but a rough estimate for each is 21 days after planting the seeds. The scion is ready when it is at the 2 or 3 true leaf stage. Not all your grafts will be successful. Until you develop your grafting technique it is recommended that you plant 2-3 times as many scion and rootstock plants as you think you will actually need.
When it is time to perform your grafts, prepare a clean working surface large enough to keep your tools and plug trays within easy reach. Get in the habit of putting the scion tray and the rootstock trays in the same location (one left, one right) so you don't get confused about which is which when you begin cutting. Wash your hands before beginning.
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