Squak Talk Blog

How is your grafted tomato growing?

In the fall of 2011 our neighbor Dr. Bob, a good friend of Squak Mt., brought us some ripe tomatoes he had grown in his garden at Talus (a development next door to the nursery).   This was after a cool, crummy summer that had frustrated many heat loving plants throughout the Seattle area.  Despite the sub par growing conditions he had been able to grow mature heirloom tomatoes on his grafted tomato plants.  He also reported that the stems were immensely strong, and the roots very aggressive.  Based on his testimonial we decided to give the grafted tomatoes a try.

The greenhouses at Squak Mt. grew our first crop of grafted tomatoes this spring.  We have grown thousands of tomato plants over the decades here in our greenhouses, and are candidly a bit skeptical of this newest craze to hit the gardening world.  But the proof is in how these plants actually perform.  These plants are much more complicated to grow than are the classic tomato plant which is grown from a seed.  This creates a higher value for the consumer.  Are they worth the extra cost?

The photo you see here is of a Cherokee Purple grafted tomato plant with maturing fruit in early August.  It was transplanted in Jim’s home garden the first week of June.  Based on our current observations, the grafted plants grow larger and faster than our tomatoes grown from seed.  We will find out if they produce more fruit, which is the goal after all.

We would love to hear your feedback on how your grafted tomato plants are growing this summer.  When did you plant yours?  What variety are you growing?  (If you bought your plant from another source, you are still welcome to join the discussion!)   Post your thoughts here so we can all learn more about how grafted tomatoes are growing here in Issaquah, the Eastside and beyond!




  1. Tami Nelson

    This is my second year growing grafted tomatoes. Last year I grew ch. Purple and Brandywine. I think I had bigger harvests with both. Still not a lot ,but some years I don’t get any to ripen on the vine with seed grown plants.grafted plants gave me quite a few(less brandy wine) the plants were MUCH healthier. This year I’m trying Indigo Rose and the double grafted Sun Gold/Sweet Million. Rose isn’t terribly vigorous, but looks fine. No ripe fruit yet but loads of them. They are beautiful dark purple. I’m waiting for them to fully ripen as I’ve been told they are pretty bland when even slightly under ripe.
    The Sun/million plant is huge and covered with fruit. Seems odd to me that the Sweet Million don’t have any color and the Sun Golds have been ripe for about two weeks. That said, the Sun Golds are not very good. They are a lot bigger than my seed grown plants.(golf ball size at least) they are rather flavorless and kind of mealy. I’ve left a lot on the vine to get over ripe(no splits) but they still are hardly worth eating. My seed grown plant are just starting to show a lot of color. Even slightly green they are WAY better flavor and texture.
    I’m wondering if the grafted plant is so vigorous that it produces larger fruit that therefore have less flavor, or maybe the graft wasn’t a true Sun Gold. I would love to hear weather anyone else has the same issue.

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