- 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