Grafted tomatoes bring together the best of both worlds: excellent production and disease resistance, even on the fussiest varieties.
“We’ve seen a yield boost of 30 to 50 percent,” says Andrew Mefferd, tomato expert at Johnny’s Selected Seeds. “[The plants] go on forever. They have so much stamina. They keep fruiting until frost.”
Grafting is simply taking the top (scion) of any tomato variety seedling that is the same stem size as the rootstock, and attaching it to a specialized hybrid rootstock grown specifically for its vigor and disease resistance. The rootstock provides protection from tomato mosaic virus, nematodes, verticillium wilt, and a number of diseases based upon that specific rootstock. For instance, ‘Brandywine’ tomatoes succumb to a number of diseases. If they’re grafted to ‘Estamino’ rootstock, which is resistant to seven tomato disease issues, they garner that benefit.