About a year or two ago, grafted tomato plants started appearing on the garden scene. As Valerie Easton explained in an Seattle Times article last year, grafted tomatoes “have proved more effective at taking up water and nutrients, they are tougher. Tougher tomatoes are better at withstanding disease, pests and temperature fluctuations. This means a higher yield of larger tomatoes. Perhaps most important in our climate, grafted tomatoes can be harvested over a longer period of time.” With such a description, these sound like the muscle cars of tomato plants, specifically tuned to our challenging Pacific Northwest growing conditions.
I remembered reading the positive review of grafted tomatoes yesterday when I took a “quick trip” to Molbak’s, something that is never as quick or as focused as I intend. Molbak’s is a gardener’s paradise located in Woodinville where I live. It’s also super pricey. I try to do most of my garden shopping at McClendon’s Hardware, but sometimes I go to Molbak’s. I always buy and spend more than I intend. For example, tomatoes were not on my shopping list. But I was intrigued. At $18 a plant (yes, $18 for a tomato plant!) I hope the experiment pays off. If it does, I might learn how to graft myself (per the below video, it doesn’t look overly hard), because I don’t see myself paying this much for tomato plants on a regular basis. Heck, I economically start all my plants from seed, so paying a lot for tomato plants isn’t something I want to do.
Anyway, I’ll let you know how the grafted tomato plant experiment works out. If anything, it’s always interesting to try something new.