Grafted tomatoes are quite different from the average, regular tomato. Because each plant consists of two plants, fused together, they require some different care and in turn, they give different results. Ezra’s Organics grafted tomatoes have root systems that are 4-5 times larger than a regular tomato. They grow much taller, with more lush foliage and will produce several pounds more fruit than is average! You can read more about grafted tomato performance here. In order to enjoy all the benefits of your grafted tomato, you need to plant it slightly differently than a regular tomato.
Keep the Graft Line above the soil:
This is the single most important factor in planting a grafted tomato. The superior performance a grafted tomato offers is only possible when you plant the tomato so that the graft line is always above the soil. We usually plant regular tomatoes quite deeply and that works well. However, in order to ensure the benefits of the graft, you must not bury the graft line when planting. Take a close look at your stem and find the graft line (see the photo below, as a guideline). Keep it in mind as you transplant and make sure it stays above the soil. If the graft line is buried, the scion (top part of the plant) will grow its own roots and the benefits from our superior root stock will be lost. Just keep that in mind and you are on your way to success!
How to Plant, Step by Step:
- Dig a deep hole (about 6 inches) for your tomato start.
- Add organic soil amendments and fertilizer to the bottom of the hole. (link to recommended products)
- Identify the graft line (see photo above) on your plant and keep it in mind, throughout planting.
- Hold the stem gently with one hand, while supporting the bottom of the pot with the other. Gently tip the pot and remove the plant and root ball.
- DO NOT pull on the stem, as this could fracture or damage the graft point.
- Place the root ball in the hole, on top of the amendments, and build up the soil around it.
- Press the soil in firmly around your plant, continuing to watch the graft line and make sure that the soil does NOT go above it.
- Water the soil around the base of your plant deeply. A good soak will help the plant adjust to the transition.
- Add your support system or cage around the plant.
- Insert the plant tag into the soil, a foot or so in front of the plant, so you can remember which variety it is.
At Ezra’s Organics, we take pride in providing our grafted tomato seedlings with the best start possible. You can continue to give them exceptional care by following the instructions above. Combine that with some healthy soil, fresh water and lots of sunshine and you are in for a delicious, bountiful harvest! Follow our blog for more seasonal growing tips and advice. Check in with our Facebook page for continued updates!