Grafting Heirloom Tomatoes Onto Hybrid Rootstocks Essay

2107 Words 9 Pages
Garth douston
Grafting Solanum lycopersicum varieties for quality and yield. Tomatoes are a lucrative cash crop for many vegetable growers, but producing large quantities of these fruits can be challenging. Disease, season length, and yield are concerns for tomato growers. Grafting can provide solutions to problems associated with these concerns. Tomatoes varieties are either hybrid or heirloom varieties. Hybrid tomato seed is produced by the cross pollination of two separate parent lines. (Get in depth about how gene selection works, good opportunity for good scientific research) Hybrid tomatoes generally have more uniform growth, disease resistance and a longer harvest interval, which are characteristics desirable for those marketing
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Grafting as a means of annual vegetable propagation was first carried out when a Japanese farmer grafted a tomato onto a squash that was more resistant to pests and disease.(Kubota) Since the 1920’s grafting has been used to increase plant production under saline conditions, improve vigor, increase the uptake of water and nutrients, and lengthen the harvest period. (Cite) While there is no one rootstock that will confer all of these desirable traits, the choice of many rootstocks provides producers with many options, without the political and social issues surrounding the use of genetically engineered crops. Tailoring a grafting plan to climate, market, and other variables can help farmers and gardeners enjoy more success. Tomato grafting is accomplished by two distinct techniques, top grafting and side grafting. Top grafting involves cutting the rootstock and scion seedlings off and then using clips to hold the scion’s top onto the rootstock until healed. When side grafting the rootstock top is removed and then the scion is cut about two-thirds of the way through the stem. The rootstock is then inserted into the slit and the graft is secured by clips, tape, or parafilm. The plant then needs to be weaned from the scion rootstock as part of the process. Top grafting is gaining ground commercially due to its speed over traditional side

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