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Old January 19, 2017   #16
txtstorm
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Originally Posted by b54red View Post
Adam, the coarse DE that I use is probably available other places but O'Reillys usually has it on hand but it can be ordered. Just ask them to get you a bag of it. Here is the catalogue link to the specific one I use. I think all the others they sell are of a finer grain.

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...and+Search_MTA

The dripping from the top is probably from too much moisture in the cups the grafts are in and that is probably causing the separation also. That is why I pull off most of the roots of the root stock and let the coarse grain DE drain after charging it with a mild liquid fertilizer before planting the graft in it. It also helps if the root stock has not been over watered. That is why it is best to not water them for a day or two before grafting. The reverse is true for the scion which needs to be well watered not too long before grafting.

I always order a selection of silicon grafting clips from 1.5mm to 3mm. Grafting with the very small clips is difficult for me but I sometimes use them early on but the most common size I use is 2mm or 2.5mm followed by 3mm size. Here is a link to the site that I have found to be the most economical but then I do a lot of grafting. The larger 3+ sizes are not for tomato grafting
https://hydro-gardens.com/?s=tomato+grafting+clips

As to the best temperature I only know that too cold or too hot is not good. I find that setting the chambers in the house works really good but they don't get as much light and after 3 or 4 days I move them into the greenhouse or onto my screened back porch. I do know that my success rate usually falls some in the summer heat and I'm pretty sure it is because the chambers get too hot. It seems that if I am comfortable the plants in the healing chamber seem to do okay.

Bill
Oops, I missed this one previously. I'll get larger grafting clips. I was thinking the 1.5mm might be a little small. I'm rethinking my healing chamber. At times, the meter was reading 97% humidity which was surely the cause for all the dripping.

Appreciate all the help,

~Adam
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Old January 19, 2017   #17
twillis2252
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I have tried both and found a compromise in the middle that works better for me. I rip off most of the roots of the rootstock before grafting. When I make my grafting cut I lay the scion and root stock side by side and match the stems and make a diagonal cut through both at the same time then clip them together with a silicon clip. I then fill a small Styrofoam coffee cup with medium grain DE then give it a drink to wet the DE and let it drain. Then I take my finger or a pencil and make a hole then set the grafted plant in it and push the DE back against the stem at just slightly deeper than the original depth and then put some dry medium grain DE around the stem so it is supported better and isn't in contact with the wet DE. After potting it into the DE I hold it up to a bright light to make sure the stems are perfectly matched. Doing this will save you a lot of heartache and you will be surprised how many times you see the light coming through where they are joined meaning it isn't a clean meeting of the two stems.

Before I make my cut I trim most of the top off the scion because if it wilts too much the heavy weight of the leaves can cause the juncture of the graft to pull apart. I just leave a very small amount of foliage on the scion. I then place it in a plastic clear tote that can be closed and put it in a place where it is cool and leave it for two days. I then open it wide and let air in it for about 5 minutes then close it back and repeat this for a couple of days increasing the number of times I let in air. After 5 to 7 days from starting I leave the top cracked for another day or two then just totally remove the top and water the plants with a mild solution of liquid fertilizer. There will still be some wilting and some may fail but with time most of them will perk up and can be moved into more direct sunlight at that time. I never put mine in total darkness but do make sure they are well shaded for at least the first few days after grafting.

Once they are growing good I repot them in potting soil and place a skewer beside each one to make sure they don't fall over. I then gradually move them back into direct sunlight and after a few days expose them to wind. I do not remove the grafting clips until the day or two before planting if they look totally healed or I just let the growing plant pop it off. When I set them out in the garden they are well hardened off because of the length of time I wait before setting them out but I still clip them to my support string immediately to prevent wind from shearing them off at the graft juncture. It takes longer than you might think before that healed juncture is strong enough to withstand strong winds without some of them breaking apart. I learned the hard way that it is better to wait an extra week or two than rush setting out grafted plants too early in the spring weather.

From the look of my seedlings I will be starting my grafting in a week or two. I will start with the largest and do as many as are large enough to graft then wait a few days and do more when an adequate number are ready. I always start a new healing chamber for each batch. I also label the date so I know how long they have been in the chamber. I have found the longer you can leave them in the chambers the better as long as you don't have problems with too damp conditions starting damping off type problems. I only mist the top lid before closing the chamber and keep it closed between grafts so the plants are not exposed to the open any longer than possible after grafting. I will usually do two grafts put them in the chamber, close it then do two more til I run out of plants or fill the chamber which holds about 25. When I am ready to seal it I mist the top of the lid again and seal it.

The reason I use DE for starting seed and potting the grafted plants to go into the chamber is that using it instead of a potting mix greatly reduces the incidence of damping off of the stem either where it is going into the potting mix or at the graft juncture. It helps to reduce the amount of roots because it retards the root stock from sucking up too much moisture forcing the juncture to separate inside the clip. For that reason I try not to water my root stock for two days before grafting. You don't want them wilting but you don't want the root stock stem to be full of water either. On the scion I make sure they are well watered a few hours before grafting to lessen the wilting which will come while the juncture starts to heal.

I get the small DE for starting my seedlings at Auto Zone and the medium DE at O'Reilly auto parts. I dump the larger DE into a clean bucket for reuse when I go to repot them with potting soil to save a bit of money.

Since getting this technique down my success rate has been well over 90% overall but there will be times when for no reason that I can tell up to a third of them can fail. Before I went to using the DE and this system I would sometimes lose all but a couple of plants and rarely got better than 60% success. With all the time and effort grafting takes it is worth spending a little bit more on the DE. In areas where damping off isn't as common a problem as it is here it might not make as big a difference but it should allow you to leave the newly grafted plants in the healing chamber longer.

If it gets too hot and dry then the plants usually need more time to heal because of the lose of moisture from the scion which can slow the healing. If it is too cool that can also slow the healing. I find that somewhere that is comfortable for people works best for me so if it is too cold I move my healing chambers into the house or if it is too hot I set them on the floor of my tiny air conditioned greenhouse. If the temperature is moderate and it is raining every day with 100% humidity I open the lid and set my chambers on my porch and just leave the lids off unless the rain stops too soon. The plants seem to do great when that happens but that is not an ordinary circumstance but I have done it with several batches with near 100% success even when done the first day. If you do this and they start wilting badly you can always close them back up but it is rarely necessary.

Hope this helps you.

Bill


Bill,
Thanks for taking the time to post your technique. I have previously grafted citrus and have experienced many of the same issues.
My question pertains to the offspring (fruit) that is produced. Since the parent was grafted, does the fruit retain the qualities of the grafted originals? Hope I worded this correctly. Many Thanks!
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Old January 20, 2017   #18
b54red
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Originally Posted by twillis2252 View Post
Bill,
Thanks for taking the time to post your technique. I have previously grafted citrus and have experienced many of the same issues.
My question pertains to the offspring (fruit) that is produced. Since the parent was grafted, does the fruit retain the qualities of the grafted originals? Hope I worded this correctly. Many Thanks!
Basically you just get the scion with a far more soil born disease resistance or tolerance. The fruit will be the fruit of the scion. The plant may or may not be larger or faster growing and it may or may not produce the same as the scion. The finished product the tomato fruit will genetically be the same as the fruit of the scion that is used in the grafting.

What grafting does for me is it allows me to grow varieties that are too susceptible to the soil born diseases that are a problem in my garden with some certainty that they won't die way too soon from those diseases. Grafting doesn't help with foliage diseases other than the natural resistance a healthy plant might have over a sick one.
If it weren't for the amount of soil born diseases and nematodes in my garden I would not graft. I have to graft to grow the varieties that I prefer.

Bill
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Old January 20, 2017   #19
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Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
I mentioned starting a thread on grafting as several members will be grafting this and many for the first time, so this should be a thread where we all learn and hopefully improve our situations.

I started my first seeds last night:
15 ISPL
15 Sweet Ozark Orange
15 Wes
15 Prudens Purple.

I plan to start more every 2 days and start my rootstock seeds (RST-04-106-T) after one more sowing of scions then continue staggering them until I'm out of rootstock. I plan to try some 3 variety grafts as well with the scions I dont use.

I used the varieties listed because 1. I have 100s of seeds and 2. They are some of my favs. I hope some other members jump in.
Can I ask, is ISPL an abbreviation or the name of a variety?
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Old January 20, 2017   #20
BigVanVader
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Yes it is Indian Stripe potato leaf.
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Old January 20, 2017   #21
txtstorm
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So, as to reasons for grafting, I'm doing it mostly for increased vigor/production and, possibly drought tolerance. I've not had any issues with soil borne diseases (KNOCK WOOD) over the years, but here in North Central Texas, it gets crazy hot and we're usually in some level of drought.

Has anyone noticed better drought tolerance or increased production through grafting? I've really only grown one grafted plant that was gifted to me by a local nursery. It was a brandywine grafted to and unknown rootstock (I think it was a Mighty Mato product). It produced 3 tomatoes and they were wonderful. But there were only 3 of them.

I've got what is supposedly a landrace variety that somehow survived the Texas summer last year with pretty much no love at all. I thought it might be good to experiment with it as a rootstock.

EDIT: I'd like to add that if I can get a method down that works, I would love to try grafting two varieties to the same rootstock. I've got a small garden and I'm always wanting to plant more varieties than what I have space for.

Last edited by txtstorm; January 20, 2017 at 01:12 PM.
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Old January 20, 2017   #22
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Typically the grafted plants will be more tolerant to extremes than non grafted. Since I am a newb I cant speak from experience, but most anyone that does graft say they do notice much better vigor.
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Old January 20, 2017   #23
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QUESTION:
What will you get if you graft a micro , for example, to a Big Beef ?
I am talking about plant size not fruit size or production.
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Old January 21, 2017   #24
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QUESTION:
What will you get if you graft a micro , for example, to a Big Beef ?
I am talking about plant size not fruit size or production.
When I was learning to graft I used Big Beef as a root stock for practice. I planted a whole bed of the grafted plants with around 15 different varieties as scions. The final plants showed absolutely no difference in their final appearance as mature plants nor any affect on production or fruit size. Due to the BB having better soil born disease tolerance or resistance the plants lasted on average about six weeks longer than non-grafted heirlooms in my garden. Big Beefs having only resistance to two races of fusarium was just not enough since my garden is heavily infested with all three now. Another thing I noticed but there is no way to prove if it is true was that Big Beef had the least affect on the final plant of any root stock I have tried so for those looking for just a moderate amount of soil born protection might want to try it as a root stock. It was also the easiest root stock to graft onto with the least failures at the graft site.

In general I would assume that most of the true root stock varieties would give some improvement in drought tolerance because when I pull up my grafted plants they do seem to have a more expansive root system than many of the heirlooms. This is purely anecdotal so don't take it as scientific fact; but if you have some nematode problems and mild fusarium problems it might make a great root stock for you. If you are looking for a root stock to give you some kind of big boost in size or production you should look elsewhere in my opinion. Also if you are on the Gulf Coast or other areas infected with all the fusarium types then you need a more resistant root stock.

Bill
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Old January 21, 2017   #25
charley
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Originally Posted by txtstorm View Post
So, as to reasons for grafting, I'm doing it mostly for increased vigor/production and, possibly drought tolerance. I've not had any issues with soil borne diseases (KNOCK WOOD) over the years, but here in North Central Texas, it gets crazy hot and we're usually in some level of drought.

Has anyone noticed better drought tolerance or increased production through grafting? I've really only grown one grafted plant that was gifted to me by a local nursery. It was a brandywine grafted to and unknown rootstock (I think it was a Mighty Mato product). It produced 3 tomatoes and they were wonderful. But there were only 3 of them.

I've got what is supposedly a landrace variety that somehow survived the Texas summer last year with pretty much no love at all. I thought it might be good to experiment with it as a rootstock.

EDIT: I'd like to add that if I can get a method down that works, I would love to try grafting two varieties to the same rootstock. I've got a small garden and I'm always wanting to plant more varieties than what I have space for.
if you do buy another grafted plant try mighty mato cherokee purple it does very well on what ever root stock they use.ive tryed there grafted brandy wines and they didnt do well at all.brandy wines dont do well in texas well for me any way and i have tryed reg branywine ,otv cow licks,and sudduths to no avail every time they come out mealy the grafted cherokee purple tons of great tasting fruit
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Old January 21, 2017   #26
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What is the optimal size stem for side grafting? I'm thinking I might start out with that and work my way up to actually top grafting. Also do you need a healing chamber for side grafting?
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Old January 21, 2017   #27
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A dwarf plant will still exhibit dwarf characteristics regardless of what it is grafted to.
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Old January 21, 2017   #28
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To update I have seedlings up from my first sowing. I sowed more tonight including 12 rootstock seeds. About how many days until RST are usually ready to graft Bill?

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Old January 21, 2017   #29
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A dwarf plant will still exhibit dwarf characteristics regardless of what it is grafted to.
Thanks Bill and BVV.
I was thinking that because a root stock like Big Beef has a more vigorous root system, it might affect the scion plant size. Now I learned that it was not the case.
So then no matter what the root stock, the scion will hang onto its own growth habit. Good lesson for me.
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Old January 21, 2017   #30
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Thanks Bill and BVV.
I was thinking that because a root stock like Big Beef has a more vigorous root system, it might affect the scion plant size. Now I learned that it was not the case.
So then no matter what the root stock, the scion will hang onto its own growth habit. Good lesson for me.
Wrong lesson. I said I saw no difference with Big Beef as the root stock. That is not true of all root stock. Multifort and Maxifort will produce much larger plants than the original scion variety most of the time. There are always exceptions with any combinations used in grafting. Estamino is said to not be very vegetative but I find the plants a good bit larger and more vigorous with most varieties grafted to it but not all. I will be dead long before I figure out all the different combos and how they work together with just my favored varieties so I will leave that up to others to figure out. I have noticed that some combos work extremely well together. I'll list them below but there are no guarantees that you will get the same results I got.

Indian Stripe PL/ RST-106-04-T
Limbaugh's Legacy/RST-106-04-T
Donskoi/RST-106-04-T or Multifort or Estamino
Spudakee/RST-106-04-T
Red Barn/RST-106-04-T or Estamino
Couilles de Taureau/RST-106-04-T
Brandywine Cowlick's/ RST-106-04-T or Estamino
Brandywine Sudduth's/ RST-106-04-T or Estamino
Arkansas Traveler/ RST-106-04-T
Giant Belgium/ RST-106-04-T or Multifort
Barlow Jap// RST-106-04-T or Multifort
Virginia Sweet/ Multifort/or RST-106-04-T
Delicious/ Multifort or Estamino
Neves Azorean Red/ Multifort

I'm still trying to decide on which combos work the best on some of the others but as you can see the ones that have shown a definite compatibility with a root stock that the root stock is more often RST-106-04-T. So when in doubt I used it with most of my grafts last year and was not disappointed with the results from most of them. If my goal was huge robust plants with larger fruits I would probably use Estamino or Multifort more but I prefer the results with RST-106-04-T with most of the scion varieties.

Bill
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