Tomato and Cucumber Grafting

Tomatoes and cucumbers can be grafted to provide a root system which is resistant to certain soil-borne diseases and pests such as wilt, corky root and eelworm. Various rootstocks are available and doubtless more will be produced. Rootstock K.N. is resistant to root knot eelworm and corky root, and Tomato Rootstock K.V.F. resists corky root, fusarium and verticillium wilt.

The rootstock seed should be sown and seedlings reared in the same way as those of ordinary tomatoes or cucumbers. Seedlings are ready for grafting when they are about 4 in. high. The rootstocks should have the tops cut off to leave one or two leaves only. A sloping downward cut is made in the stem just below the lowest leaf and a corresponding upward cut is made in the stem of the fruiting variety. The two tongues formed should be fitted together and kept in place by

adhesive tape. The two joined plants are then potted into a 34-in. pot with the two root systems together.

For plants to be grafted on tomato K.V.F. stock it is necessary to remove the roots of the fruiting variety before they are planted in the fruiting quarters. To do this easily the seedlings of rootstock should – be potted singly before they are grafted. The soil is shaken from the roots of the scion (fruiting variety) and, after grafting, the plants are kept warm and shaded until wanted when the roots of the scion can be cut off.