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Old May 1, 2017   #346
imp
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Have been reading along and been just excited to read all the tips and methods. Right now, have no need to graft tomato plants, but love good information. Good going guys, and good growing!
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Old May 1, 2017   #347
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I am growing Sungold, Indigo Cherry Drop, Burgundy Traveler, Nefertiti, Purple Plum, Black Krim, and still have to graft Russian Black, Bumblebee and some white heirloom with purple shoulders my mom sent me some seed of. In other words, two hybrids and a bunch of heirlooms.
Are there any guidelines for how many shoots/leaders per plant, since I can train each one up it's own pole if necessary to prevent shoots shading each other out?
I chose Maxifort as a rootstock as it was advertised as effective for dealing with a wide range of soil diseases and should handle heat well.
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Old May 1, 2017   #348
b54red
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Originally Posted by geotek View Post
I am growing Sungold, Indigo Cherry Drop, Burgundy Traveler, Nefertiti, Purple Plum, Black Krim, and still have to graft Russian Black, Bumblebee and some white heirloom with purple shoulders my mom sent me some seed of. In other words, two hybrids and a bunch of heirlooms.
Are there any guidelines for how many shoots/leaders per plant, since I can train each one up it's own pole if necessary to prevent shoots shading each other out?
I chose Maxifort as a rootstock as it was advertised as effective for dealing with a wide range of soil diseases and should handle heat well.
Some of those will get quite large and Sungold will grow out long thin stems with an abundance of suckers which quickly become loaded with blooms and fruit. It is a hard plant to keep under control as it puts out massive amounts of small tomatoes. With it you might want to connect your stakes with twine or something in order to help in supporting Sungold with something almost like a large cage. With it I would allow a good number of stems until it starts to get a bit crowded as the plant is quite spindly and sparse on foliage so sun and air flow is not usually a problem until it starts falling over when it outgrows its support.

If I were you and supporting each stem with its own post I would try to keep most of the heirlooms to 3 or 4 stems in order to get good sun and air flow.

Bill
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Old May 1, 2017   #349
geotek
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Some of those will get quite large and Sungold will grow out long thin stems with an abundance of suckers which quickly become loaded with blooms and fruit. It is a hard plant to keep under control as it puts out massive amounts of small tomatoes. With it you might want to connect your stakes with twine or something in order to help in supporting Sungold with something almost like a large cage. With it I would allow a good number of stems until it starts to get a bit crowded as the plant is quite spindly and sparse on foliage so sun and air flow is not usually a problem until it starts falling over when it outgrows its support.

If I were you and supporting each stem with its own post I would try to keep most of the heirlooms to 3 or 4 stems in order to get good sun and air flow.

Bill
Thanks for the prompt and helpful response. Since the Indigo Cherry Drop is also a hybrid, but doesn't seem as spindly as the Sungold, I think I will limit it to 6 or so stems as a compromise.
All of the poles will be tied to a center pole that runs horizontally from two 8' tall boards tied to stakes driven in the ground. Imagine the tomato poles being rafters in a roof. (I have a very large supply of bamboo poles of up to 40' in length and 2" in diameter so I can keep adding poles and cross braces as necessary. I'll build a pergola for the tomatoes if I have to.)

Stephen
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Old May 1, 2017   #350
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Originally Posted by geotek View Post
Thanks for the prompt and helpful response. Since the Indigo Cherry Drop is also a hybrid, but doesn't seem as spindly as the Sungold, I think I will limit it to 6 or so stems as a compromise.
All of the poles will be tied to a center pole that runs horizontally from two 8' tall boards tied to stakes driven in the ground. Imagine the tomato poles being rafters in a roof. (I have a very large supply of bamboo poles of up to 40' in length and 2" in diameter so I can keep adding poles and cross braces as necessary. I'll build a pergola for the tomatoes if I have to.)

Stephen
You will have to for sungold if it is a healthy plant.

The very thing you are talking about doing is why I went to large cages and then to trellises and finally to lean and lower single stem plants supported by twine and held by clips. Each was a step up from adding stakes as the plant grew. Each has its advantages and each has its faults. The faults that I find with most methods of support are mainly a problem down here where our humidity, heat, disease and pest pressure require more open plants for good health.

Adding stakes as the plant grows requires a lot of tying and eventually the indeterminate plants outgrow the whole thing. It also has a tendency to get too dense in places and eventually that leads to more diseases and pests. It can also become a tangled mess and it is hard to remove all those stakes at the end of the season.


The large tomato cages are probably the easiest to work with for at least the first half of the season but they pose their own difficulties. It can be hard to reach in and work with the plant through the cage and sometimes stems fall down unless tied or threaded through the wire. If pruning is not kept up they can also become too dense by becoming packed with foliage which will lead to diseases and pests down here in our climate. Later in the season many of the plants will outgrow the cages even if they are six feet tall and fairly big around. Another big problem is storage once the season is over.

A large tall trellis is a good method especially if you don't plant too many plants. It allows you to limit the stems as each plant develops so you can tailor your pruning to the type of plant and its growth pattern. Like all the other methods eventually the plants become a bit tangled and mixed and the trellis can begin to look like a row of shrubbery. Some of the indeterminate varieties will eventually even outgrow the trellis down here where the seasons are so long.

The biggest problem with the drop line method I am using now is that for it to work well you really need to limit your plants to just one stem. Some of the more sparsely vegetated varieties will not do well with this method but with Missouri pruning the worst of that shortcoming can be overcome. Another problem is the plants need a tall horizontal support bar in order to keep the fruit off the ground as the single stem grows. I only use a 7 ft tall support bar and so have to have a very thick layer of mulch to lay my plants down on so the fruit that touches won't rot or get eaten by insects so much. Another trick I use is to set my original line on a diagonal so the plant has far more room to grow before lowering becomes necessary and the plants are already trained in the right direction. It is a fairly hard method to start each season as the young plants require disciplined pruning and then as they grow it must be maintained. I find that once everything is set up the system is less labor intensive because it doesn't require tying, the plants are easier to spray and just keeping up with one growth tip makes it rather simple. One big selling point for this method for me is it is much easier to do with my arthritic hands and requires little physical labor for the number of plants. It also allows me to grow a greater variety of plants in a much smaller space.

If I only had room for a half dozen or so plants I would probably opt for the large tomato cages built from concrete reinforcing wire or a tall trellis. I now have over fifty plants and will be adding more up until late July or early August. Of course once the first batch starts fading in production I may remove them as new plantings start producing but by early June I will have between 70 and 100 tomato plants growing at that time if things go as planed. Of course rarely do things go as planned in the garden.

Bill
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Old May 1, 2017   #351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b54red View Post
Some of those will get quite large and Sungold will grow out long thin stems with an abundance of suckers which quickly become loaded with blooms and fruit. It is a hard plant to keep under control as it puts out massive amounts of small tomatoes. With it you might want to connect your stakes with twine or something in order to help in supporting Sungold with something almost like a large cage. With it I would allow a good number of stems until it starts to get a bit crowded as the plant is quite spindly and sparse on foliage so sun and air flow is not usually a problem until it starts falling over when it outgrows its support.

If I were you and supporting each stem with its own post I would try to keep most of the heirlooms to 3 or 4 stems in order to get good sun and air flow.

Bill
Tell me about Sungold !

I have one that I can hardly keep up with pruning it. It is the tallest and the biggest plant. Maybe Brandy Boy comes close.
BTW: I picked 2 tomatoes from it today (half ripe ). That and SFT were the first to get ripe tomatoes 90 days from sowing.
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Old May 10, 2017   #352
carolyn137
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About damping off.

The primary reason for it happening NOT too much water.It has to do with certain pathogens that are in the seed starting mix.There are several of them and here's some links to look at.

https://www.google.com/search?q=damp...&bih=790&dpr=1

And here's a link to one of the links in the above link.


http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic...id-damping-off

And here's what damping off looks like

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...k1.Rzvy8XUkl3A

Summary?

Yes,there are several reasons for damping off BUT it cannot occur unless one or more of the fungal pathogens is present in the seed starting mix.

One of my tomato pathology monographs shows it happening when the seedlings are even 4-6 inches tall.So they can look OK at first, and then down they go.


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Old May 10, 2017   #353
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Since I up-potted my grafted plants, they've gotten completely out of control! I've had to raise the lights three times this week alone, and there are several inches of roots literally streaming out of the pots' drain holes. Tonight they started popping off their clips.

The problem is that it has still been dropping into the upper 30s and low 40s overnight so I've been trying to wait before moving them outside.

I can't raise the lights any higher, so I'll give them until Sunday then they will be banished at least to mini greenhouses in the driveway. I was planning on a Memorial Day plant out, but I'm thinking I'll have to move it a week earlier.

I'm thinking my 8' bamboo stakes will really be tested this year by my grafts...
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Old May 11, 2017   #354
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Since I up-potted my grafted plants, they've gotten completely out of control! I've had to raise the lights three times this week alone, and there are several inches of roots literally streaming out of the pots' drain holes. Tonight they started popping off their clips.

The problem is that it has still been dropping into the upper 30s and low 40s overnight so I've been trying to wait before moving them outside.

I can't raise the lights any higher, so I'll give them until Sunday then they will be banished at least to mini greenhouses in the driveway. I was planning on a Memorial Day plant out, but I'm thinking I'll have to move it a week earlier.

I'm thinking my 8' bamboo stakes will really be tested this year by my grafts...
I doubt 8' stakes will be enough for some of them. My first batch of plants was set out six weeks ago and now some of them are six feet tall and they are just getting started.

Bill
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Old May 14, 2017   #355
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I spent the evening yesterday grafting and did well over 40 and plan to do some more this week for setting out in late May or early June. These are predominantly varieties that have shown the ability to set in the extreme heat of mid summer down here. Of course I always throw in some others just to see how they will perform in the mid and late summer. I need to start the seeds for my last bunch of seedlings for my fall plants soon so they will be ready to graft in early June.

Bill
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Old May 14, 2017   #356
jtjmartin
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Good luck Bill and thanks for your help this past year.
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Old May 16, 2017   #357
TechGuy
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Default Grafted Plants by Mail?

I am curious what grafted plants sell for both retail and to commericial growers. Particulary which ones ship?

So far I have seen Johhnys sells large volume only 100-400 + plants only which works out to about $3.30/plant for 102 roughly

Jung is $8.50/plant
Territorial $8/plant

Other sites have dead pages, most are sold out, etc. I am not looking to buy this year but I wonder what the market demand really is. Do farmers use them? Do farmers in southern US with humidity and mild winter primarily buy or do many other farmers buy too?

Why do they sell out so early? Some climates like AZ grow mostly in fall from what I understand...probably FL is winter I would guess.

Has anyone here purchased online? What was quality like?
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Old May 16, 2017   #358
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Just a guess, but I would think larger scale farmers are doing their own grafting. I think the grafted plants probably sell more to those backyard gardeners/smaller scale growers who don't want to deal with the extra grafting step. Again, just a guess.
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Old May 17, 2017   #359
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I don't know of any commercial growers around here that use grafted plants. It is much cheaper for them to just use those bullet proof hybrids that produce those nice pretty tasteless tomatoes that the super markets seem to prefer. Hey they can sit on the shelf for weeks without rotting. Of course they never do taste like a real ripe tomato. My wife calls them pictures of tomatoes.

Bill
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Old May 17, 2017   #360
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I've seen grafted plants locally for $9.99 ea
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