Grafted Tomato Research

General Description

Grafting has long been used for perennial tree fruits such as apples, cherries, plum, citrus and the like.  Grafting allows a single plant to have the fruit development of the selected above ground germplasm (the “scion”) with the vigor and growth habit of the below ground germplasm (the “rootstock”).

In the last several years, grafted tomatos, an annual crop, have become more and more popular amongst commercial growers–particularly those using higher value season extesion strategies such as high tunnels.  Tomatos tend to have high vulnerability to crop diseases such as early and late blight, powdery mildew, blossom end rot, and other pathogens which can substantially reduce yields.  Grafting desirable fruit scions onto more disease resistant rootstock can help provide

Marbonne, Marnero, and Margold which are described in the Johnny’s catalog, where we purchased them, as “Simply the best hybrid heirloom-types available, bred in the Provence region of France. Dramatically improved yields and more marketable fruit than the old-world varieties they imitate. With proper management, flavor can match the heirlooms. This collection includes 34 plants each of Marbonne, Marnero, and Margold. All are grafted to Estamino. Indeterminate.”

Background Reading and Information

Eighteen Rootstock and Five Scion Tomato Varieties: Seedling Growth Rates Before Grafting and Success in Grafting the Ninety Variety Combinations (Hu et al., 2004)


USDA Vegetable Grafting Information Portal


Do grafted tomatoes increase yield and profitability compared with non-grafted tomatos?







Three Sisters Research Data Collection Form