DIY TomTato Grafting Tomatoes onto Potatoes 2015

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by JWK, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    I'm having another go at growing tomatoes/potatoes in the greenhouse.

    You can buy them from a well-known online retailer, this is a) very expensive and b) the potatoes yields are poor (going by their reviews). My aim is to reduce the cost and get better yields and taste.

    Last year I got good yields of tasty tomatoes but my potato yield was only average, my best plant gave me this 3.3lb of scabby spuds:

    TomTato 2014.jpg

    The scabbiness and poor yield I think was due to a poor choice of potato variety and under watering.

    This year I'm trialing several different potato varieties:
    Cara
    Charlotte
    Desiree
    King Edward
    Pink Fir Apple

    I'll grow 2 or more of each one, using different tomato scions. Last year I got the best results from Floridity F1. The TomTato plant gave me as many if not more fruit compared to a normal one, and it looked much stronger and kept growing for longer. I think the potato roots give the plant increased vigour.

    Last year's thread here: http://gardenerscorner.co.uk/forum/threads/diy-tomtato-grafting-tomatoes-onto-potatoes-2014.64597/
     
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    • JWK

      JWK Gardener

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      I sowed my tomatoes 4 weeks ago, I have just started chitting the spuds, the aim is to get both to the same size, i.e. the potato chit/sprout and the tomato stem.

      I'm aiming for mid-April to do the graft. The potatoes will need to be potted up for a couple of weeks beforehand to encourage roots.

      The process of grafting and aftercare is a bit laborious, but apart from that the costs are very low, just a few pence for seeds and spuds. The end result I'm hoping will provide two crops in one, ideal if you've only got a small growing space.
       
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      • Lolimac

        Lolimac Guest

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        Now you've gone and done it John:doh:...I wasn't going to give it another go this year but I feel a Tomtato coming on now after reading your post:rolleyespink: I haven't a potato chitting or a tomato sown yet but I might just give it another go:dbgrtmb:
         
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        • JWK

          JWK Gardener

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          Go for it Loli, I did OK last year with a late start. Just keep your clumsy brother away :)
           
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          • Lolimac

            Lolimac Guest

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            Will do John:dbgrtmb: I've sown a few Manx Marvels and Gardeners delight at tea time for starters so I'll see how they come on:thumbsup:
             
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            • DRB

              DRB Gardener

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              Been making a serious effort myself grafting toms this year. Have put a few photos in the gallery. Took a couple of efforts to tweak the healing process though, but think have it cracked now
               
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              • JWK

                JWK Gardener

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                Looks good @DRB , what varieties are you trying and what rootstock?
                 
              • DRB

                DRB Gardener

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                Rootstock mainly Arnold (got them at Moles Seeds) A few are Submarine (Moles also) and there are about half a dozen grafted onto Estimano (Kings Seeds) Scions are mainly Vanessa FI (This is the one I had success with last year when I tried grafting first time on small scale. ther is a photo of last years effort in an album in the gallery also) Also some Shirleys and a few Bloody butcher. the aubergine is a tomato rootstock (Arnold)and a Black Beauty aubergine. I grafted four and this is the sole survivor. growing fast now. I know now you need to keep the graft of aubergine a lot longer in the dark in the healing chamber to encourage graft formation.

                Last lot of toms grafted (11 days now) was about 90% survival. Shirley, Fandango and Vanessa. Vanessa did the best. Been a lot of early trial and error and learning best healing techniques. but just retired so plenty of time for this. I read a lot on Google about grafting. Mostly American University projects and found all did different techniques with the healing process. My system now takes about 12 days now from graft to back into normal greenhouse conditions. I built a healing chamber which can control both heat and humidity automatically. (Early teething problems but working at feat now)

                I have heard of potato/tom grafts. Any good from productive aspect of tomato scion??
                 
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                • JWK

                  JWK Gardener

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                  Yes, I got a slightly bigger yield from 'normal' non-grafted plants growing alongside (of the same variety). They tasted and looked exactly the same so that's why I'm encouraged to try the Pot/Tom graft on a bigger scale this year.

                  The main issue is finding the most suitable potato variety, T&M sell these http://www.thompson-morgan.com/vegetables/vegetable-plants/all-vegetable-plants/tomtato/t47176TM but they don't say what variety, I think they have chosen one that suits their grafting production line rather than for yield/taste. T&M got bad reviews last year most people only got a couple of spuds after all that money and effort.

                  In NZ there is another company selling grafted TomTatoes using the variety Agria, but that isn't available in the UK.

                  Hence why I'm trying five different readily available potato varieties this year.
                   
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                  • DRB

                    DRB Gardener

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                    I'm interested in the grafting technique you use for a potato and tomato. The only methods I've tried in grafting is Tom to Tom and a few aubergine to tom. They have been simple top opposing grafts with same size stems. I have 6 pots with rootstock and scion growing side by side and when slightly larger will try side graft but no real idea of the healing process for this method. I assume you use similar technique for Pot/Tom graft? How do you heal also?
                     
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                    • JWK

                      JWK Gardener

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                      With tomatoes onto tomatoes I did the same as you, matching up the same size stems when both plants are quite small. With Tomatoes onto Potatoes I was using much bigger plants and that helped me as I'm not very dexterous. I tried a couple of techniques:

                      1) I had most success with a 45 deg cut on both then clamping them together with a grafting clip (this is not my photo - just one I found):
                      upload_2015-3-25_11-50-24.png

                      2) I had not much success with what i called the 'splice' method, this may not be it's proper name. Basically you grow both rootstock/Potato and scion alongside, cut off the rootstock/potato at an angle then make an upward slit in the scion. The scion keeps its roots until the graft has healed, use a grafting clip: (again not my picture):
                      upload_2015-3-25_11-51-14.png


                      I'll find some of my photos from last year to try and illustrate how I did it.
                       
                    • JWK

                      JWK Gardener

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                      From last year.

                      I forced the potatoes to get two or three nice long shoots, nipping out the smaller ones:
                      P5180095.JPG

                      Next is my attempt at the 'splice', i.e. potato shoot on left cut at an angle, the tomato on the right. The tomato keeps it's roots (only one or two of these actually 'took' I think the tomato just keeps growing from it's root and never healed, so when I finally severed the tomato from it's root it just died):
                      P5180097.JPG



                      Next are all my grafts done, I've used 2 or 3 clips per graft:

                      P5180101.JPG

                      Then kept cool and away from light (covered with newspaper) for 2 days, then the next 3 or 4 days gradually letting a bit of light and reducing misting:
                      P5180104.JPG


                      Here is the graft healed nicely:
                      P5260118.JPG


                      Finally planted out in my greenhouse in 42L pots:
                      P6030079.JPG
                       
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                      • DRB

                        DRB Gardener

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                        So basically as with the way I do Toms. What may help for ease is silicon tubing for the grafting You can get it in various internal diameters. Cut a 1-1.5cm length and make a slit down it. It will hold the opposing grafts as you have done well and is a lot easier then the peg type clip for that type of graft. I note you initially keep them in the dark and 'cool' to heal the graft. What temp in your chamber? For toms I keep at 23c and pitch black with 95% humidity for first 48hr then gradually increase light slowly for 72hrs and then reduce humidity and further increase light. I keep them in the chamber about 8 days all together then 2-3 days in big plastic propagator lowering humidity back to normal (still no direct sunlight)

                        silicon clip.png

                        3.2mm bit of silicon tube with slit Good for bigger plants to graft if using 45 degree type of graft
                         
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                        • JWK

                          JWK Gardener

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                          I've got a few silicon tubes when I was grafting tomatoes, this photo from 2013:
                          IMG_7687.JPG


                          The tubes are too small for my TomTato stems, where did you get yours from?

                          My chamber was in an unheated room around 18C.
                           
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                          • Lolimac

                            Lolimac Guest

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                            This is great reading:ThankYou: both:dbgrtmb:

                            I got the tubing from the pet shop what they use in Aquariums :blue thumb:
                             
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