You may have heard the buzz that is going around about the latest thing in tomatoes – growing grafted tomatoes. Why is this a good thing? Simple. Grafting your favorite tomato onto the right rootstock can result in a stronger, healthier, better yielding plant. Growing grafted tomatoes will ideally require fewer pesticides or none at all. Tomato plants that are grafted by professional gardeners are selected because of their vigor, hardiness as well as the quality of the fruit of the original plant. It is extremely uncommon to get a poor quality grafted tomato plant.
I’m going to be growing Big Beef as well as two doubles (two different tomatoes grafted onto one rootstock) – one with Koralik & Legend, the other with Sungold & Sweet Million. Big Beef is listed as the all-American standard in beefsteak tomatoes. It is extra meaty with real homegrown flavor. The fruit size should be around 10-12 ounces.
Koralik is a big and bold cherry tomato originally from Russia. Trusses of 6-8 bright red, flavorful, one-inch fruit are produced throughout the summer season. What makes this variety unique? All the tomatoes on one truss will ripen simultaneously instead of one at a time like other cherry tomatoes. Perfect if you’re selling them at a farm stand or using them as decoration on your party platter.
Legend is a very early maturing slicing tomato with a nicely balanced sweet flavor. Another plus – it is late blight tolerant. Both Koralik and Legend are determinate tomatoes which means they will top out around four feet and grow in a more bush-like manner than will indeterminates. For this reason, I’m going to experiment with growing my Koralik/Legend duo in a container.
The grafted Big Beef will be planted in my veggie garden as will the Sungold/Sweet Million duo plant. I’ll be back later in the season to report on the progress of all my grafted tomatoes. Meanwhile, has anyone out there grafted their own plants or grown ones they purchased? Let us know what you think of grafted tomatoes if you have.