Thursday, 2 May 2013

Hard graft: my post-operative tomatoes



Three of my newly-grafted tomato plants, in which the top of a good fruiting variety (Black Russian, in this instance) has been grafted on to a vigorous, disease-resistant stem and root. These plants have now been moved somewhere dimly lit  to recover from their transplant surgery. After three or four days, I'll move them back into the light and if the grafts have taken well, remove the orange grafting clips. When I see new leaf growth at the top, I'll cut off the old root stem and cut down the bare top of the rootstock. Once the plants are trimmed, the 'new' plant will consist of the leafy top that you see growing to the left, and the vigorous rootstock, which is the right hand stem.

The graft in close-up. There's a full description of how to perform a tomato graft at http://secret-garden-club.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/how-to-graft-your-own-tomatoes-for.html. It's not technically difficult, just a bit fiddly. These plants are rather larger than you would normally graft - ideal for the ham-fisted like me.



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