Grafted Vegetable Care

What are Grafted Vegetables?

More and more varieties of grafted vegetables will be in garden centers each year. The idea behind grafted vegetables is that a flavorful but somewhat finicky variety (the scion) can be grafted onto a sturdier rootstock to help it resist disease and produce more fruit. This is the same reason that most fruit trees and rose bushes are grafted rather than grown on their own roots.

Benefits of Grafted Vegetables:

  • Dramatically increase fruit production.
  • Produce earlier and longer.
  • Resist diseases, including verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, root-knot nematodes and tomato mosaic virus. Grafting produces healthier, more vigorous plants that are less susceptible to other problems such as blights and blossom-end rot.
  • Use water and fertilizer more efficiently.
  • Tolerate swings in temperature
  • Tolerate soil moisture fluctuations

Grafted Vegetable Planting and Care:

All grafted vegetables should be planted at the same soil depth as they are in the pot. Burying the graft union below the ground will cause the scion of the plant to take root, circumventing the benefits of the rootstock.

Planting directly in the ground instead of containers will give you the best yields. Crowding the roots of grafted plants inside a container will diminish returns.

Use sturdy 8’ stakes to trellis the plants or plant them inside large, steel cages.

Fertilize and water grafted plants the same as other vegetables.

Be sure to have lots of recipes to use all those extra vegetables!