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Basics of Tomato Grafting


In this tutorial, we will know about some basics of tomato grafting.

  • Steps in grafting
  • Principles of grafting

Also read: Growing Tomato, Brinjal and Chilli in Low Temperature

List of contents
(01). Selection of rootstock
(02). Selection of scion
(03). Method and materials
(04). After care
(05). Hardening of graftage
(06). Transplanting
(07). Important points

(01). Selection of rootstock

Rootstock is a plant which is used in grafting or plant propagation. For grafting, different parts of two plants are combined to form a single plant. In this combination, one part is stem from any selected pant, while the shoot and bud parts from another plant act as the growing portion. Hence a grafted plant has two parts, and in this example stem part is rootstock, and the top growing portion is scion.

The selection of rootstock is one of the most important thing.

Selection criteria

  • Healthy rootstock.
  • Strong rootstock.
  • Resistant rootstock.

A rootstock should be very vigorous and strong enough to be considered as a grafting material. Resistant rootstock

What should be the required characteristics of a rootstock?

  • Life span.
  • Tolerant to insect-pests.
  • Resistant to insect-pests.
  • Tolerant to plant diseases.
  • Resistant to plant diseases.

Required characteristics

Life spanIt should be longer than that scion plant
Tolerant to insect-pestsAt least it should be tolerant against the target insect-pests
Resistant to insect-pestsAlways prefer this rootstock. Example is indigenous and wild species of brinjal
Tolerant to plant diseasesAt least it should be tolerant to plant diseases
Resistant to plant diseasesAlways prefer this rootstock

Also read: Determinate and Semi-determinate Varieties of Tomato

Meaning

  • Vigorous: A single rootstock should be very vigorous
  • Longer life span: The life span of a rootstock should be longer than that commercial variety.
  • Tolerant: It should be tolerant to insect-pests and diseases.
  • Resistant: It should be resistant to lethal plant diseases such as wilt.

What are the roles of a healthy and strong rootstock?

  • To support the plant against various plant diseases.
  • To support the plant against various insect-pests.
  • To support the plant for maximum production.
  • To support the plant for a longer production period.

(02). Selection of scion

Scion is a specific plant-part which is used in grafting or plant propagation. For grafting, different parts of two plants are combined to form a single plant. In this combination, one part is stem from any selected pant, while the shoot and bud parts from another plant act as the growing portion. Hence a grafted plant has two parts, and in this example shoots and buds are scion.

A scion shoul show compatibility with the selected rootstock. No compatibility means no success in grafting. Always use recommended varieties of tomato as a scion. You can find out a compatible variety of tomato over time by your own experience. For grafting, always use indeterminate varieties. This variety should have indeterminate growth habbit.

(03). Method and materials

3.1: Required materials

  • Rootstock.
  • Scion.
  • Growing media.
  • Plant trays or poly bags.
  • Grafting tube, clip, tape.
  • A sharp blade.
  • Rootstock: A strong rootstock
  • Scion: Compatible variety of tomato
  • Growing media: Cocopeat for commercial varieties of tomato and soil + FYM for rootstock
  • Plant trays and poly bags: Good quality plant trays
  • Grafting clip, tube, and tape: Quality should be good. For example, prefer silicon clip

3.2: Method

Step 01: Sowing of seeds and germination

Seed treatment for good germination

Treatment 01 Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before sowing.
Treatment 02 Soak the seeds in water and use PGR for better germination.

Seed sowing should be done at morning.

  • Depth of sowing: Sowing depth is 1.5 to 2 cm.
  • Moisture content: The moisture content in growing media is 70%.

Step 02: Counting the day of grafting

  • 1 to 1.5 month after sowing of seeds.
  • Minimum diameter of a stem should be 1.4 mm for a better success rate.

Step 03: Procedure to be followed

Silicon tube

  • Head back the rootstock just 4 mm below the cotyledon (cut should be slant).
  • Cut the scion-plant just 4 mm above the cotyledon (cut should match the cut made on rootstock).
  • Insert the silicon tube from the top side of the rootstock.
  • Slide down it halfway toward the rootstock.
  • Take your scion.
  • Insert it into the vacant part of the silicon tube to make a near perfect contact with rootstock.
  • Transfer your graftage inside a mist propagation chamber.

Spring clip

  • Head back the rootstock just 4 mm below the cotyledon.
  • Make a 5 mm vertical downward cut.
  • Take a scion plant.
  • Cut it just 4 mm above the cotyledon.
  • Make wedge shape cut on scion.
  • Insert the scion into rootstock.
  • Align the graftage.
  • Hold it by using grafting clip.
  • Transfer the graftage inside a mist propagation chamber.

Grafting tape (film)

  • Head back the rootstock just 4 mm below the cotyledon.
  • Make a 5 mm vertical downward cut.
  • Take a scion plant.
  • Cut it just 4 mm above the cotyledon.
  • Make wedge shape cut on scion.
  • Insert the scion into rootstock.
  • Align the graftage.
  • Hold it by using grafting clip.
  • Transfer the graftage inside a mist propagation chamber.

(04). After care

  • Protect the graftage from direct sunlight.
  • Protect the graftage from hot and fast wind.
  • Protect the graftage from rodents.
  • Protect the graftage from overhead irrigation.

(05). Hardening of graftage

Keep your grafted plant inside a mist propagation chamber for at least 21 days.

(06). Transplanting

Transplant the grafted plant after 21 days. You can transplant it inside a shade house or in an open field.

(07). Important points

  • Height of grafting: 1.5 cm from the ground level.
  • Length of scion: 1.5 cm.
  • Healing period: 1 to 3 weeks.

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