Grafted tomatoes: BUSTED!

Back in April, I had high hopes for grafted tomatoes, touted by Burpee and others for their winning combination of heirloom fruit (great taste) and hybrid root stock (tough and more disease resistant than heirlooms). I bought six.



All my tomatoes were late. You remember the rain we had? But once the rain stopped, I expected the crop to come in. Two of the grafteds produced a small number of tomatoes; of those, the Brandywines were normal size, the Mortgage Lifters were puny. Four of those vaunted and expensive heirloom-hybrids produced no tomatoes at all.

What tomatoes did I reliably get this summer? Fourth of July (another Burpee). Not the greatest tasting, but that plant began making golf ball-sized fruit in June and is still popping out 3-4 a week. Cherokee Purple - had a few. Pineapple - excellent performance until about a week ago when the plant just turned yellow and croaked.

Next year I may buy one or two grafteds and try again in a different spot. I've already cleared a sunny area for that. But beyond that, I plan to go with traditional hybrids and heirlooms and take my chances. The only claim my grafteds fulfilled was height: Most of them got to be about 10 feet tall. And yes, as I expected back in April, they were a conversation piece. (Too bad it was mostly talk, not much action.)

Now I'm on the hunt for a green tomato recipe. I have lots of those.