Grafting is a technique that is used to combine two plants to produce the desired rootstock, providing trees with the desired fruit characteristics. Grafted plants develop resistance to soil-borne diseases such as bacterial wilt, southern blight, fusarium wilt, root-knot nematodes, and verticillium wilt. It also enables the plants to withstand harsh climatic conditions and to overcome salinity issues. The grafted part is composed of the scion (the top of the grafted plant) and the rootstock (the bottom part). Grafting success is facilitated by the propagation environment, grafting methods and grafting seasons. Greenhouses and shade net houses are common structures in grafting nurseries.
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They are categorized into two; high cost and low-cost greenhouses. The high-cost greenhouse comprises of a polythene sheet set on metallic ashes. This type is easy to build and it can withstand strong winds without getting damaged. Greenhouses offer an ideal environment for grafted plants. Temperatures inside the greenhouse are higher than in the outside environment although they can be maintained at the desired level. The humidity in the greenhouses can be raised by sprinkling water even during the cold season. Since they offer a propagated environment, the success rate of the plants is high. The investment capacity determines the type of greenhouses and shade net houses required. It is effective for both small scale and large scale graft plants’ nurseries.
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Shade net houses
A systematic shade house is required for both small and large scale multiplication of graft plants. Mostly, young graft plants need a regulated environment in partial shade. Shade net houses can be easily built since only wooden poles are used to support the shade net. They allow the circulation of air and are not affected by wind. They offer a controlled environment required for the proper growth of the graft plants.
In a controlled environment, the graft plants take fewer days to sprout. These plants have a high number of leaves and grow at a faster rate. In Greenhouses and shade net houses, the grafts seem to heal quickly. The graft exposure to optimum temperature and humidity results in variations in the number of leaves of the graft plants. High humidity helps in the formation of the callus between the scion and stock and also prevents the scion from drying. Compatibility between the scion and the stock promotes cambium formation and easy union formation.
We have heard few people (ignorant) saying that grafted tree tomato are not the best to plant and that the fruits aren’t sweet. Our testimony is different, very few people are growing tree tomatoes and the few that are growing specialize on the non-grafted ones. We must tell you the truth about the secret of growing grafted tree tomato.
Grafting on any crop is done to increase production. What many people don’t know is that normal tree tomato doesn’t have tap root, it only has fibrous roots, this makes it impossible for the tree to get enough water and nutrients from the soil. In addition, it is very week and in most cases its blown by weed.
We normally graft our Red Oratia tree tomato with Bug weed (Muthakwa), this is a wild tree that grows in any condition naturally. The main reason of grafting tree tomato with muthakwa is because, muthakwa is never affected by nematodes and has a tap-root making it ideal to get nutrients from the soil.
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Tree tomato grows naturally with less care however, if you are doing it commercially or intend to do it commercially, you must look out at a few things that are very essential. These includes, water application, manure application, fertilizer application, pests and diseases control. However those are just general things that ought to be followed to the latter but there is a major concern which is nematodes. Farmers will bear us witness that nematodes are the biggest threat to tomato, potato and tamarillo farming. So how do you fight them? this question has been asked by many farmers and the answer we tell them is that it is hard to do so. However, after several tests and research, it has been approved that grafting tree tomato with Muthakwa is a major boost in the fight against nematodes.
I know some of you will refute these results, but we have the prove. We have both grafted and non grafted tree tomatoes and we can assure you that the production is double if not triple. The Muthakwa tree tomato grows taller, its strong and have many branches. Do you know what this means? it means that the tree is able to carry a big load (doesn’t abort that much). The tree has tap root, it’s not affected by nematodes and its firm. Its lifespan is also enhanced as it can continuously produce fruits for more than six years.
For more information contact us or visit one of our demo farms in Nairobi at Ridgeways Kiambu road or Nyeri Town.
Contact us on 0706222888
Grafted Tree Tomato Seedlings