Our Plant Buyer, Vanessa Kimling, explains why grafted veggies are better for your garden and for the planet
Grafted vegetables have been all the rage in Europe for the past decade. What do Europeans know about the virtues of grafted veggies that American gardeners have only just begun to discover? What is a grafted vegetable?
A science hundreds of years old, grafted vegetables are created when the top part of one plant (the scion) is attached to the root system of a separate plant (the rootstock). The rootstock contributes vigor and disease resistance, while the scion is chosen for fruit flavor or quality. The resulting super plant is more vigorous and productive, and many gardeners report double, even triple yields. Not only that, but these sturdy little non-GMO workhorses are a greener alternative to traditional gardening as they are more water efficient and more disease resistant, which amounts to less pesticide use, less water usage and contributes to a happier planet
Many of us Northwest gardeners have heard about the newest grafted veggie introduction: The ‘Ketchup and Fries’ plant where a cherry tomato plant is grafted onto a potato plant. Curious to try growing it? We are too! Enticed by the promise of prolific and delicious tomatoes, and as many as 4.5 lb. of creamy white potatoes from one plant, (Traditional potato plants average about 2 lb. per plant) we just had to test it out in our own gardens this spring. The wide benefits of grafted veggies are happily not limited to tomatoes, you can experiment with peppers, eggplants, cucumbers and melons. Come into the store for a tempting assortment of hand grafted veggies, and do your garden and the planet a favor this growing season!
Vanessa Kimling, Plant Buyer - Ravenna Gardens