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In recent years vegetable plant suppliers have been offering the gardener grafted vegetable plants.  This simply means that the best vegetable varieties have been taken and grafted on to a very vigorous rootstock.  This method has been used for many years with fruit trees for example to change the vigour of an apple tree for instance.  With the vegetables the yield of the plant can be increased by up to 75%.  However, it can be considerably more expensive to buy these grafted plants than to simply grow your own plants from seed.  Therefore there needs to be some considerable benefits to outweigh the cost.  Here are the advantages as I see them:-

  • Grafted plants are more vigorous, producing larger plants and much higher yields. Up to 75% more crop can be expected
  • Grafted plants have a greater resistance to pests and diseases, including soil-borne diseases, negating the need for growbags or ring culture as the plants can successfully be grown directly in the soil.
  • Grafted plants are less susceptible to nutritional disorders that may affect conventional plants.
  • Little or no heating is required to grow grafted plants.  These plants can be grown outside, or perhaps for best results, in a greenhouse with very little heating.
  • Top quality fruit are yielded over a longer period in comparison to conventional plants. Earlier crops can be expected with grafted plants, but the increased vigour ensures that late season crops can also be produced.

Commercial growers have used this technique for some considerable time, and many gardeners and allotment holders are following suit. Grafted varieties are available for aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons and squashes.

Suttons have been pioneering the introduction of grafted plants to the home and allotment gardener.

To view the selection of grafted vegetables at Suttons or to watch a video on their care click here

To view growing guides for grafted vegetables at Suttons click here

Mark Snelling

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