• Kelly Grummons

Is there an advantage to using grafted tomato plants over seed grown plants?

Q: For the last few years, I see grafted tomatoes in many of the catalogs when I’m ordering vegetable seeds. They seem expensive. Is there an advantage to using grafted tomato plants over seed grown plants?

A: Nurseries that sell grafted tomato plants claim improved productivity and in some cases more root disease resistance. Many tomatoes grown for grocery store sales are harvested from grafted, greenhouse-grown plants. Root diseases are considerably worse in the greenhouse environment. The rootstock of a grafted tomato is usually a disease resistant eggplant.

Personally, I haven’t experienced a significant productivity increase with grafted plants that I grew in my garden. Grafted tomatoes are often $15 or more per plant. Also, I haven’t seen organically grown grafted tomato plants. And there is a very limited selection of tomato varieties offered as grafted plants.

Written by Kelly Grummons, who writes our Q & A column, is co-owner of the mail order nursery businesses, coldhardycactus.com and dogtuffgrass.com

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Colorado Gardener is an independently owned, creatively designed tabloid-size gardening news magazine. We provide our readers with the ideas, information, resources, inspiration and sense of humor needed to grow ornamental and edible plants successfully in our fast changing, unpredictable climate. We emphasize waterwise and environmentally sound practices.

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