Home

The Tomato Grafting Kit
from BetterHeirlooms.com will show you how.

Master a fun, valuable gardening skill using
the same tools and techniques as organic growers.

Heirloom tomatoes are delighting home gardeners with their superb flavor, uncommon beauty and abundant nutrition.

The result of generations of backyard breeders and seed savers from all over the world, heirloom tomatoes earned the name because they are open-pollinated varieties that were carefully selected for flavor and beauty and handed down to family and friends. Some of them are hundreds of years old.

Despite their increasing popularity, gardeners are also now finding out that heirlooms can be very difficult to grow outside their native regions. That’s why we have assembled the Tomato Grafting Kit.

In addition to tools and supplies, the kit includes highly disease-resistant rootstock seed. By grafting heirloom seedlings onto hardy, disease resistant rootstock, you can enjoy the same success with heirloom tomatoes that many organic growers are now discovering.

Contents of the Tomato Grafting Kit

The Tomato Grafting Kit contains the basic supplies you need to start, graft and grow up to 12 hardy, high yielding, disease resistant tomatoes. Please note that the rootstock seed, an F1 hybrid, has been specifically bred for resistance for the purpose of grafting only, and is the most important part of your kit.

Each Tomato Grafting Kit contains:

  • Super hardy, Maxifort F1 rootstock seed; enough to create up to 12 grafted seedlings (also available for sale separately, below)
  • Healing “chamber” (gusset bag and clamps)
  • 12 silicone grafting clips (reusable)
  • Grafting blade
  • Detailed, illustrated instructions with important planting tips for grafted tomatoes
Heirloom Tomato
Grafting Kit.
$12.99 FREE Shipping
 

 





Mini-4-pack Heirloom Tomato Seeds only
Minimum 6 seeds per pack, Paul Robeson, Isis Candy, Black Zebra & Brandywine (pictured below)
ON SALE (seeds packed for 2011 – may require up to 3 weeks for germination)
$8.50
$2.00
FREE SHIPPING 

 





 

Maxifort F1 Rootstock Seeds
13 seeds per pack
$8.99 FREE Shipping

 













 

Please note: Our checkout page gives you the option of using a paypal account or your personal credit card.

Why grafting?

One reason heirlooms are a challenge is that they arose in specific soils and climates. This makes them more susceptible to disease when grown in different regions. Another reason is that gardeners saved seeds from plants that delivered the best taste. As often occurs when selecting plants for a single trait, they lose the “hybrid vigor” that makes more commercial varieties hardier and easier to grow.

The Tomato Grafting Kit will improve your chances of success with these challenging, but very rewarding plants. In the process, you will learn a valuable new gardening skill that you can apply in the future with other plants. Some people are even having fun grafting a number of different varieties onto one plant. We invite you to give that a try too, and visit our blog to share your results.

The Tomato Grafting Kit is based on the same time-honored agronomy practice used in growing fruit and nut trees. The procedure involves cutting a twig or top from the desirable, though disease-prone variety, which is known as the “scion.” The cut surface of the scion is then joined to the cut surface of a similar sized twig or severed top of a hardy, disease resistant “rootstock” from the same family of plants.

In a short time, the two plants fuse together. The result is a tree or plant that combines the best traits of both: the hardiness and disease-resistance of the rootstock on the bottom, with the desirable flavor, size, color or other attributes from the scion plant on the top.

In tomato grafting, the same principle applies, although on a much smaller scale than with trees.

Tips for success

Grafting tomatoes isn’t difficult, but it does take practice, patience and a delicate touch. It involves cutting and combining your heirloom seedlings and your rootstock seedlings when they are both still very small, about 3-4 weeks old, when they have just two pairs of compound leaves each. This will result in grafted seedlings that are resistant to most soil borne diseases.

Before cutting your rootstock for grafting, we highly recommend practicing the craft first by growing some throwaway seedlings from leftover seeds you might have from prior seasons, then grafting them onto each other. Naturally, your results with the practice seedlings, if successful, will not yield the same disease-resistance you get when grafting onto rootstock. But it will let you get a feel for how to perform the cuts, handle the clips and observe the healing process. The disease-resistant rootstock seed is the most important part of the Heirloom Tomato Grafting Kit, so you will want to treat these seedlings with special care.

If you wish, go ahead and get started by planting some tomato seeds for practice seedlings now, while you wait for your kit to arrive in the mail. Consider planting at least 12 seedlings for practice.

Questions or comments? Please email us!

Heirloom Varieties available for sale separately (packed for 2011):


Paul Robeson
One of the finest of the black varieties, the Paul Robeson has won a number of tomato tasting contests over the years. Medium sized, smooth-skinned, deep black-red fruits encase the well flavored pulp, with rich sweetness and juice. Fruits grow to 6-10oz. Indeterminate. 75 days.

Isis Candy
One of the best cherry-type tomatoes around! Very prolific. Fruits ripen to a beautiful red-orange-gold striped and blushed color. Flavor is sweet, excellent and perfect for fresh eating and in salads. 67 days.

Black Zebra
A beautiful and tasty tomato that consistently rates among tomato favorites. The Black Zebra bears 2-3″ fruit with a deep red/black color crossed with dark green stripes. The flavor is rich, with a slightly smoky taste. 85 days.

Brandywine
Probably the most famous heirloom tomato, the Brandywine traces its origin to the late 1800′s, but was popularized in the 1980′s. Plants bear large, 1+ pound fruits that ripen to a pinkish red. The fruits are renowned for their lush and rich flavor with much sweetness and a light acid overtone. This variety has become extremely popular amongst home gardeners. Potato-leafed. Indeterminate. 80-90 days.