Talking Tomatoes – One Plant Two Varieties or Colours!
After last week’s look at rootstock and grafting, one of the Newsletter readers (Nick from Stirchley) suggested the possibility of grafting two different plant varieties onto one rootstock.
This would have the benefit of being able to grow, for example, a Black Cherry and a Gardener’s Delight on one rootstock – black and red tomatoes on one plant. Or, perhaps Tumbling Tom Red and Yellow both grafted to make one plant!
Grow More Varieties In The Same Space
You may ask, why go to all that bother of grafting when you could just grow two varieties next to each other?
There are some advantages, for example, if three grafted plants were grown in one grow bag, it would allow up to six different varieties and they would look great!
So where space is limited, if you have the time for some grafting … it may be worthwhile.
Another Season Another Challenge
Each season I give myself a new quest and this season it’s to find more ways to improve container growing, be it large pot, hanging basket or grow bag.
One of the results of growing in confined areas (containers) is that plants often just fizzle-out and stop producing towards the end of the season – or earlier! On the larger varieties, for example, the upper trusses can be disappointing.
Although tomato plants don’t like their roots confined, there is also the issue of water and nutrient access. For plants to have water and nutrients exactly when they need it, requires a bit more than just a grow bag.
The Quadgrow Planter addresses these two problems by sitting large pots on a reservoir of water that also contains nutrients. Plants are then able to absorb what they want as they want it – and you can even go on a short holiday knowing your plants will be OK!
The Quadgrow Planter is not cheap – especially if you have a lot of plants, but the idea is a good one.
For those who use grow bags, making holes in the bottom and allowing roots to grow down into the earth below, if they’re resting on soil in the first place, is a good idea and seems to work well for many greenhouse growers – although grafted plants would help ensure disease-free growth.
Adding perlite and water retaining gel to grow bags is another method of helping to increase water and air retention. Of course, an automatic watering system is pretty good too, but although relatively inexpensive, can be a challenge to set up.
If you have any comments to make, I would love to hear from you below…