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Feb 19, 2013
Give grafted tomatoes a try in 2013
Scott Mozingo  Product Manager, Burpee

Bumper Crop Grafted Tomatoes - graft Day 5I feel like I’m completely settled in for the winter – with a huge stack of gardening catalogs – trying to decide exactly what I want, what I need and what I absolutely can’t live without for the growing season. Now that it’s February though, it’s time to get on the stick and get some things ordered.

So, what’s on my can’t-live-without list? First and foremost in my vegetable garden will be Bumper Crop grafted tomatoes.

In case you haven’t seen anything about these yet, grafted tomatoes are the next big thing. While grafting has been around for centuries in other areas of gardening (think roses and fruit trees) it’s really pretty new to vegetable gardening here in North America. In other parts of the world, grafting has been used extensively to promote the vigor of plants like tomatoes, peppers and melons.

Grafting tomatoes marries the desirable part of an heirloom or hybrid tomato to a stronger and more vigorous root system. When the plants of a tasty tomato and strong rootstock are just seedlings, they’re cut at an angle and joined together by a special clip. After about a week, the two plants are fused together creating one plant with the best attributes of both.

Bumper Crop Grafted Tomatoes

Really, the root system is the king here. Bumper Crop grafted tomatoes use a rootstock that’s a hybrid of two wild types of tomatoes. If you left the rootstock to just grow by itself you would get hard, nasty green berry-like tomatoes that you definitely wouldn’t want to eat. Graft a great-tasting plant to the top though, and you’ve got a tomato-producing machine! The vigorous roots plow deep into the soil reaching for water and nutrients unfazed by soil-borne problems like nematodes, verticillium, fusarium, corky root rot or tobacco mosaic virus. Plus, all the vigor from the root system helps protect you from environmental stresses like heat and cold keeping the plant producing longer into the season.

What’s not to love here? Great-tasting tomatoes, more of them, better resistance to soil diseases and environmental stresses. Grafting might not be the magic bullet for all problems, but it is a bit of gardening insurance and I can’t wait to get these growing.

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