Grafted Tomato Plants - Key Growing Information
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Solanum lycopersicum
INDETERMINATE: (climbing) varieties should be staked, trellised, or caged, and pruned for best results; fruit ripens over an extended period.
TRANSPLANTING OUTDOORS: Transplant into medium-rich garden or field soil 24-36" apart for indeterminate, unstaked varieties, and 14-20" for staking. Plant with the graft union above the soil line to prevent the top, scion variety coming into contact with the soil. Water seedlings with a high-phosphate fertilizer solution. For earliest crops, set plants out around the last frost date under floating row covers, which will protect from frost to about 28°F (-2°C). If possible, avoid setting out unprotected plants until night temperatures are over 45°F (7°C). Frost will cause severe damage.
FERTILIZER: Abundant soil phosphorus is important for early high yields. Too much nitrogen causes rampant growth and soft fruits susceptible to rot.
DISEASES: Learn the common tomato diseases in your area. Select resistant varieties. For prevention, use young, healthy transplants, avoid overhead irrigation, plow in tomato plant refuse in the fall, rotate crops, and do not handle tobacco or smoke before handling plants. Fungicides can reduce certain diseases when properly selected and applied.
BLOSSOM END ROT: Prevent blossom end rot by providing abundant soil calcium and an even supply of soil moisture.
INSECT PESTS: Use row covers to protect young seedlings from flea beetles. Tomato hornworms can be controlled with Bacillus thuringiensis. Use spinosad for potato beetle larvae and adults.
HARVEST: Fully vine-ripen fruit only for local retailing or use. To deliver sound fruit, pick fruit less ripe the further the distance and the longer the time between the field and the customer.
STORAGE: Store firm, ripe fruit 45-60°F (7-16°C) for 4-7 days.
DAYS TO MATURITY: From transplants.