Grafted plants

Freshly grafted plants

Last year we at Thompson & Morgan started to sell grafted vegetable plants such as tomatoes and cucumbers; this year we have extended the range to include melons and watermelons too!

Too much trouble?

So why graft a plant that’s only going to be around for a season or two and then be composted? I can understand going to the trouble of grafting trees and shrubs as these will last a lifetime and are worth the trouble, but surely a tomato plant is a lot of work for little reward?

I was totally wrong of course!

Grafting is easier than I thought, especially with the soft shoots on these fruit and vegetable plants, these days there are even special snips that can cut the stems on rootstock and scion (top part) so that they match up exactly and form a perfect bond so that they graft together much faster.

Grafting a rootstock

Grafting onto a root stock

So why graft?

Imagine you have the best and fastest growing tomato plant that’s strong, disease resistant, grows outside with ease and also produces a huge crop of juicy tomatoes reliably every year. Now, if you could take all the qualities of that plant and then use it on another variety of tomato, that would be great! So that’s what we do. We take the rootstock of the super growing tomato plant and then graft on to it an different variety… so that all the power and vigour that comes from the roots will then go into the new variety and give it all the same traits as the original plant – a stronger growing, disease resistant plant with huge crops – up to 75% more in some cases!

One step further

So we have established that we could successfully graft tomato plants, it then made perfect sense to do the same with other favourites too, cucumbers were added to the range, and then a melon, and a watermelon too!

Quite a selection

There are now no less than eight different plants that we have available to buy as grafted veg

Grafted Tomato 'Philona' F1 Hybrid

Tomato ‘Philona’ F1 Hybrid

Tomatoes:

Fantasio

Philona

Solena Chocolate

‘Solena Red’

 

Grafted Tomato 'Philona' F1 Hybrid

Tomato ‘Philona’ F1 Hybrid

 Cucumbers:

Dominica

Mini Stars

 

 

Grafted Melon ‘Perseus’ F1 Hybrid

Melon ‘Perseus’ F1 Hybrid

Melon ‘Perseus’ F1 Hybrid

and

Watermelon ‘Mini Love’ F1 Hybrid

 

All of our grafted veg are sent out in June as well established plants so that all you have to do is plant them up and reap the rewards of this great idea!  Give them a try and see how much of a difference it makes to your harvest this year!

Graham Ward

I’ve been gardening for as long as I can remember, my first earliest memory being planting seeds in my Grandfather’s prestige flower bed and having a prize lettuce growing there, which he proudly left to show everyone.

Since then, gaining knowledge and experience from both my Grandfather and my Father, I’ve continued to garden, both as a hobby and later on as a professional gardener and landscaper for 12 years. I love all aspects of it, from the design and build, to the planting out of summer borders with plants you’ve either grown from seed or raised from plugs. Unusual varieties always catch my eye and I’m keen to try growing them, even if sometimes it means learning from my mistakes.

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