Grafting is a propagation method where the tissue of two plants are fused together. The bottom part of the plant that contributes roots and support is called the rootstock. The upper part contributing leaves, flowers, fruits and stems, is called the scion.
The production of grafted vegetables in Asia is widespread. In Japan almost 95 % of the watermelons, oriental melons, cucumbers, tomato and eggplant crops are grafted before being transplanted to the field or greenhouse. Grafting may be an important component of low-input sustainable and organic horticulture due to increase in vigor and disease resistance.Grafting vegetables in the US is largely restricted to high input hydroponic production.
Unfortunately, information related to field production of grafted vegetables and rootstock behavior is very limited. Grafting in horticultural plants is increasing seen as a means to improve plant growth, control disease, impart tolerance to temperature and salt stress, and increase nutrient uptake.
Click on the link to read a grower’s point of view on tomato grafting by Jack Manix.