Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center

Vegetable Research and Extension

Photo collage of watermelon tasting, tractor, dry beans

Grafting Vegetables

Vegetable grafting is a centuries-old technique utilized in Asia to improve plant production, reduce disease susceptibility, and increase soil utilization. Vegetable grafting was introduced in the United States almost 20 years ago and growers are becoming more aware of its attributes and potential. At Washington State University, we began vegetable grafting in 2009 with three crops: tomato, eggplant and watermelon.

Grafting Information

Hosting a Vegetable Grafting Workshop. This information packet from Washington State University provides instructions for how to host a vegetable grafting workshop, including a step-by-step guide for hosting the workshop and a list of supplies for the presenter; and for the participants there are useful handouts and a survey.

Grafting Supplies. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Gale Sterrett, and Jacky King.

Vegetable Grafting: The Healing Chamber. WSU Extension Fact Sheet FS051E 3 pages. Published October 2011, reviewed July 2016.

Vegetable Grafting: Watermelon. WSU Extension Fact Sheet FS100E 7 pages. Published January 2013, reviewed June 2016.

Non-grafted and Grafted Seedless Watermelon Transplants: Comparative Economic Feasibility Analysis.  Washington State University Extension publication TB08E, 14 pages. A guide for evaluating the physical and financial requirements and economic feasibility of growing seedless watermelon transplants, both non-grafted and grafted, in a greenhouse, as well as using grafted transplants to produce seedless watermelon in Washington. Published May 2016.

Injertos Hortícolas: SandÍa. Hoja de datos de la Extensión, Universidad Estatal de Washington FS100ES. 7 páginas. Publicado enero 2014.

Injerto de Verduras: Berenjenas y Tomates. Hoja informativa de la Universided Estatal de Washington FS052ES. 4 páginas. Publicado Agosto 2013.

Retail Rootstock Seed Suppliers. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Gale Sterrett and Jacky King. Updated February 2013.

Vegetable Grafting: Eggplant and Tomato. WSU Extension Fact Sheet FS052E 4 pages. Published October 2011.

Grafting Presentations

Grafting Healing Chamber. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. How to construct and manage a healing chamber for grafted vegetables. 2011.

History of Vegetable Grafting. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. Summary of the history of vegetable grafting. Includes first known uses of vegetable grafting and current uses. 2011.

How to Graft Tomatoes and Eggplant. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. Highlights splice grafting for tomato and eggplant, and how to manage newly grafted plants. 2011.

Transplanting Grafted Plants to the Field. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. Reviews procedures and considerations for transplanting grafted vegetables into the field. 2011.

Grafting Research Articles

Refereed articles

Dabirian, S., and C. Miles. 2017. Antitranspirant application increases grafting success of watermelon. HortTech 27:494-501 doi: 10.21273/HORTTECH03739-17

Dabirian, S., and C. Miles. 2017. Increasing survival of grafted watermelon seedlings using a sucrose application. HortSci. 52:579–583. 2017. doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI11667-16

Dabirian, S., D. Inglis and C. Miles. 2017. Grafting watermelon and using plastic mulch to control Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae in Washington. HortSci. 52:349–356. 2017. doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI11403-16.

Miles, C., J. Wimer and D. Inglis. 2015. Grafting eggplant and tomato for Verticillium wilt resistance. ActaHort 1086:113-117.

Wimer, J., D. Inglis and C. Miles. 2015. Evaluating grafted watermelon for Verticillium wilt severity, yield and fruit quality in Washington State. HortScience 50(9):1332-1337.

Wimer, J., D. Inglis and C. Miles. 2015. Field and greenhouse evaluation of cucurbit rootstocks to improve Verticillium resistance for grafted watermelon. HortScience 50(11):1625-1630.

Buller, S. D. Inglis and C. Miles. 2013. Plant growth, fruit yield and quality, and tolerance to Verticillium wilt of grafted watermelon and tomato in field production in the Pacific Northwest. HortSci. 48:1003-1009.

Johnson, S., D.A. Inglis, and C. Miles. 2013. Grafting effects on eggplant growth, yield and verticillium wilt incidence. Intl. J. Veg. Sci. doi:10.1080/1915269.2012.751473.

Johnson, S., C. Miles, and D.A. Inglis. 2013. First report of Verticillium wilt caused by V. dahliae on grafted Solanum aethiopicum in Washington. Plant Dis. 97:840.

Johnson, S. and C. A. Miles. 2011. Effect of healing chamber design on the survival of grafted eggplant, watermelon, and tomato. HortTech. 21:752-758.

Abstracts

Buajaila, F., J.S. Cowan, L. Carpenter-Boggs, D.A. Inglis and C.A. Miles. 2017. Effect of grafting and fertilizer source on tomato yield and fruit quality in high tunnel production. HortScience 52(9):S in press.

Miles, C.A. and S. Dabirian. 2017. Increasing survival of splice grafted watermelon seedlings using a sucrose application. HortScience 52(9):S in press.

Dabirian, S., C. Miles and D. Inglis. 2016. Grafting watermelon to control Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae in Washington. HortScience 51(9):S165.

Buajaila, F., J. S. Cowan, L. Carpenter-Boggs, D. A. Inglis, E. Scheenstra, and C.A. Miles. 2016. Effect of fertilizer source and grafting on tomato growth, leaf nitrogen and fruit yield in high tunnels. HortScience 51(9):S164.

Dabirian S., E. Scheenstra, P. Kreider and C. Miles. 2016. Increasing survival of grafted watermelon transplants. HortScience 51(9):S387.

Buajaila, F., E. Scheenstra, P. Kreider, and C.A. Miles. 2016. Effect of fertilizer source and grafting on quality of high tunnel grown tomato. HortScience 51(9):S387.

Dabirian S., C. Miles, D. Inglis. 2016. Grafting watermelon to control Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae in Washington. APS Pacific Division Annual Meeting, 28-30 June, La Conner Washington.

Wimer, J., C. Miles and D. Inglis. 2015. Grafting watermelon to manage Verticillium wilt in Washington State. HortScience 50(9):S208.

Miles, C.A., P. Keider, K. Hasenoerl, and D.A. Inglis. 2014. Grafting eggplant and tomato for Verticillium wilt resistance. ISHS Symposium on Vegetable Grafting, Wuhan, China, p. 53.

Wimer, J.A., C.A, Miles, and D.A. Inglis. 2014. Evaluation of watermelon rootstocks for resistance to Verticillium wilt in northwestern Washington. ISHS International Symposium on Vegetable Grafting, Wuhan, China,
p. 59.

Wimer, J.A., C.A. Miles, and D.A. Inglis. 2014. Evaluation of watermelon rootstocks for resistance to Verticillium wilt in northwestern Washington State. HortScience 49(9):S195 

Miles, C. S. Buller, and D. Inglis. 2013. Growth, yield, fruit quality, and Verticillium wilt tolerance of grafted watermelon and tomato in field production in the Pacific Northwest. HortSci. 48(9):S237.

Johnson, S., and C. Miles. 2011. The effect of humidity in healing chamber environments on the survival of grafted eggplant, watermelon, and tomato. HortSci. 46:S224.

Proceedings

Johnson, S.J., C.A. Miles, P.A. Kreider, and J. Roozen. 2010. Grafting vegetables for resistance to soil-borne diseases: an organic alternative to soil fumigants. 2010 International Plant Propagators' Society North American Western Region Annual Meeting, Sept. 9-11, Bellingham, WA.

Johnson, S.J., C.A. Miles, P.A. Kreider, and J. Roozen. 2011. Effect of healing chamber design on the survival of grafted eggplant, tomato, and watermelon. 2011 International Plant Propagators' Society North American Western Region Annual Meeting, Sept. 21-24, Sacramento, CA, Vol. 61:50.

Miles, C., S. Johnson, and D. Inglis. 2012. Managing Verticillium wilt on eggplant through grafting, and graft survival in healing chambers. Proceedings International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reduction, Nov. 8, Maitland, FL, p. 67.

Resources


Vegetable Grafting (vegetablegrafting.org). A portal designed to deliver current research-based information on the preparation, use, evaluation and purchase of grafted vegetable plants. Supported by the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) of the USDA and NIFA.

Commercial Cucurbit Rootstocks (USDA 2015). Common cucurbit rootstocks and their susceptibility to common diseases and pests. NOTE: seed of rootstocks listed may not be generally available, check seed catalogs for specific variety.

Commercial Eggplant and Pepper Rootstocks (USDA 2015). Common eggplant and pepper rootstocks and their susceptibility to common diseases and pests. NOTE: seed of rootstocks listed may not be generally available, check seed catalogs for specific variety.

Commercial Tomato Rootstocks (USDA 2015). Common tomato rootstocks and their susceptibility to common diseases and pests. NOTE: seed of rootstocks listed may not be generally available, check seed catalogs for specific variety.

Grafting of Vegetables to Improve Greenhouse Production. Masayuki Oda, College of Agriculture, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai Osaka 5998531. 1999.

Grafting Techniques for Watermelon – University of Florida, IFAS Extension

How to graft tomato & eggplant: tube splice. AVRDC demonstrates how to graft as well as how to make grafting clips from poly tubing.

The Ruminant Podcast Episode 9: Dr. Carol Miles on grafting veggies. A conversation with WSU Vegetable Extension Specialist Carol Miles about grafting tomatoes, eggplants, and other vegetables. Covered are definitions, the reasons for doing it, and a few techniques.

Tomato Grafting for Disease Resistance and Increased Productivity – Sustainable Research & Education (SARE) Fact Sheet.

Video showing graft healing. This 1-minute time lapse video shows the successful formation of a graft union in a 'Celebrity' tomato plant over a ten day period. By Kyle Craig.

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Photo of cutting tomato scion material for splice grafting

Cutting tomato scion material for splice grafting.

Photo of healing chamber

The healing chamber structure where plants are held for 7 days following grafting.

Photo of grafted watermelon transplant in field

Grafted watermelon plant immediately after being transplanted into the field.

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