Vegetable grafting is a very different technique of grafting from other crops such as fruits and ornamental plants. It includes brinjal, tomato, chilli, and the grafting of cucurbit plants.
Also read: Basics of Brinjal (Eggplant) Grafting
Causes of vegetable grafting
- To increase plant vigor
- To increase tolerance/resistance
- To increase crop yield
To get vigorous plant, the plant needs a strong base. Vigorous plants are formed from the developed root system and strong stem. Strong rootstock is also directly related to biotic and abiotic stresses and tolerance, and resistance to plant diseases and pests. Because of this, more yield is obtained per acre.
Scope of vegetable grafting in India
Vegetable grafting is a new concept for many people in India. It is a trending subject. The technique is gaining popularity in India. Chhattisgarh is the pioneer state in India in the field of vegetable grafting. The demand for grafted vegetable plants continues to increase across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Odisha, and some southern states of India.
For a few days after grafting, the top part of the graft is not able to take food from the bottom part, it takes a week for the vascular connection to be established between them. Till the first week, the upper part of the graft remains completely separated from the lower part. It takes 2 weeks to heal the wound in the bitten part. It is necessary for the scion to remain fresh till this period. In this way, a healing chamber is required in vegetable grafting.
What is healing chamber?
It is a small covered structure.
HC maximises humidity and reduces light to allow graftage to heal.
Healing chamber is a structure inside which temperature and humidity are controlled. The same temperature and humidity is kept inside it which is necessary for grafting. Healing chamber is a structure that provides suitable environment.
Why is HC necessary in vegetable grafting?
- To prevent loss of moisture from scion stick.
- To maintain proper environmental condition.
- To promote rapid
formation of the graft union.
Shape and size of a healing chamber
The size and shape of a healing chamber depends on the number of plants.
A plant grafter can create a small healing chamber by using a polythene sheet and a large black plastic bag. A larger healing chamber is required to accommodate more numbers of plants.
Making a healing chamber
Materials: Polythene sheet, pvc pipes, tape
Follow these priciples
Site: Place it in on the floor of greenhouse or on a bench.
Height: It should be 1.5-3 feet tall. The space between the top of the plants and the covering of the chamber should be 6-8 inches. The consistent maintenance of high humidity is difficult if the height between the plants and the covering of the chamber is too high.
Length: The maximum length should be 5 feet.
Width: The maximum width should be 5 feet.
Step 01: Lining of the floor
Line the floor of the chamber using a transparent polythene sheet.
Step 02: Making the frame or structure
Make a rectangular frame (structure) using pvc pipes. PVC pipes make the frame lightweight.
Step 03: Securing the gapes
Loosely cover the frame with a clear polythene sheet.
Step 04: Securing the gapes
Secure the gape between polythene sheets. Use tale to secure the gape between polythene sheets.
Step 05: Making PVC clips
Take lightly larger PVC and cut 2 inch parts from it in ring form.
Cut out 3/4 inch to make a clip.
Step 06: Secure plastic with pipes
Tightly secure plastic with frame using recently made PVC clips.
How to use healing chamber?
Step 01: Misting the chamber
Mist the whole inside part of the chamber using water sprayer.
- Mist all the walls of the chamber
- Mist the floor
- Mist the top of the chamber
- Let thr water accumulate on the floor of the chamber
Step 02: Misting the plants
- Mist the grafted vegetable plants
until dripping wet just after grafting.
- Mist the chamber again before placing the plants in
Step 03: Keeping plants inside chamber
Keep the pro-tray inside healing chamber. Secure the chamber tightly with tape and clips to prevent moisture loss. Use cloth-pins of binder clips.
Step 04: Covering the chamber
Cover the healing chamber using a cloth or dark polythene sheet. There is no need to provide light to the plants for 3-4 days.
Problems and solutions
Gradually introduce the grafted
plants into the shade house environment to make the plants hard to avoid
stress and plant death. It is known as the hardening of plants.
- Low humidity
If the humidity in the healing chamber is too low, scion leaves will begin to wilt and plants are likely to die.
Solution: If wilting is observed, mist the plants well and place them back in the healing chamber.
- High humidity
If the humidity in the healing chamber is too high, the problems of soft rot and damping off occurs.
Edema: It is the growth of callus on leaf veins.
Solution: Maintain proper humidity inside healing chamber.
- Physiological disorders
If plants are left in the chamber for too long, plants may begin to develop physiological disorders and adventitious roots may develop on the scion at the graft union.
Solution: Don’t keep the plants in healing chamber for a long period.
Why is it important to sanitize the chamber?
Healing chamber is warm and moist.
It provides an ideal environment for pathogens to develop.
Hence it is very important to sanitize the inner part of the chamber.
When to sanitize the chamber?
Sanitize the chamber when it is not in use.
Which chemical is used to sanitize the chamber?
Use 10% bleach solution
sanitize by removing the plastic and wiping it down with a disinfectant such as 10%. You can also use 70% isopropyl alcohol solution.