Variety development is time-consuming, expensive, and technically-demanding. It can also be limited by barriers to the movement of genes and traits from one generation to the next. Grafting can bypass some of these barriers to making superior genetics available to farmers. The grafting process quickly and directly combines the traits of two plants, one providing a root system (rootstock) and the other providing a shoot (scion).

Why would a farmer consider using grafted vegetable plants? Some benefits are well-known and others may yet be discovered. Currently, grafted plants often display greater levels of vigor and tolerance or resistance to various types of stress than their ungrafted counterparts. As a consequence, fruit yield and income potential are maintained when growing conditions might otherwise reduce them (e.g., when soilborne disease organisms are present). Grafted plants may require fewer pesticide applications and emerging evidence suggests that grafted plants may uptake and/or use water and nutrients more effectively.

Grafted vegetable plants have been used for many years in many locations. Grafted plants are a staple in hydroponic greenhouse production, increasing in high tunnel production, and under greater and greater evaluation in open field systems. Grafted plants are a tool that can be used by many; they can be used on operations of all sizes, types (conventional, organic), and locations. In addition, preparing grafted vegetable plants has become a business for some.

As when using any crop production tool, employing the proper technique when preparing and using grafted plants is required to benefit from the time, effort, and expense involved. Grafting is essentially organ transplantation, therefore, it is important to pay attention to rootstock-scion compatibility, cleanliness, healing, and related issues.

Cantaloupe, cucumber, tomato, and watermelon can be grafted with a high rate of success. Information at this website focuses primarily on the preparation, testing, and use of grafted tomato plants. Information on other grafted crops will be included shortly. We invite you to look around the site and to comment on what you find (and don’t find)!


Grafting Process

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Grafting Plants

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Grafting Holds Promise for Vegetable Production
Matthew Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University

Fruit Yield and Quality in a Strip Till Tomato System as Influenced by Grafted Plants and Crop Biostimulants
Matt Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University

Relative Seedling Vigor Values of Twenty-Three Tomato Varieties
Bizhen Hu, Mark A. Bennett, and Matthew D. Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University

Vegetable Grafting Resources
USDA-SCRI National Vegetable Grafting Team

Toward More Effective Selection of Tomato Rootstock and Scion Varieties for Use in US Soil-Based Production, Including Organic (recorded presentation)
Bizhen Hu, Jennifer B. Moyseenko, Stephanie Short, Sonia D. Walker and Matthew D. Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University

A New Protocol May Help Reveal Pre- and Post-grafting Environment Effects on Early-phase Healing in Grafted Tomato Seedlings (recorded presenation)
Bizhen Hu, Joshua Blakeslee, Peter P. Ling, Mark A. Bennett and Matthew D. Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University

Grafting Tomatoes for Production in the Hot-Wet Season
L.L. Black, D.L. Wu, J.F. Wang, T. Kalb, D. Abbass and J.H. Chen
Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center

Midwest Vegetable Variety Trial Reports
– 13 universities contribute to these reports (VPSL reports published in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014)
Matt Kleinhenz

The Ohio State University

Vegetable Grafting Guide
Matt Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University

Description of Commercial Solanaceous Rootstocks
Matt Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University

Description of Commercial Cucurbit Rootstocks
Matt Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University

Hot Water and Chlorine Treatment of Vegetable Seeds to Eradicate Bacterial Plant Pathogens
Sally A. Miller and Melanie L. Lewis Ivey
The Ohio State University Extension


Grafting Tomato Plants

Tomato Grafting Using Tube Grafting

Grafting Tomatoes

How to Graft Greenhouse Tomatoes


Grafting ListServ

Seed-to-Grafted Plant Calculator

Other Websites

Vegetable Grafting Portal